Kharif crops on a healthy start as India receives good rains

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Kharif crop sowing has got a headstart as India has been receiving healthy monsoon rainfall this year. Last week, rainfall picked up and the country received above average showers for almost an entire week. Overall through July, India has received above average rainfall so far. The rainfall received in July and August is critical to the farmers as this will determine the crop output of the year. Farmers sow crops such as rice, pulses, coarse cereals, oil seeds, sugarcane and cotton in the kharif crop sowing season. 

“With the monsoon season in full swing, crop sowing is off to a very strong start, with the area sown through 3 July now reported at around 43.3 million hectares, which is significantly higher than around 23 million hectares sown last year,” a report by Barclays’ Monsoon Tracker said.

During 1st June to 9th July, India has received 13% more cumulative rainfall in the long-period average (LPA) and it is likely that the country will receive even more rainfall in the coming weeks. “An increasing likelihood of La Niña, as indicated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology remains a favorable driver of Indian monsoons over the coming weeks,” the report said.

The availability of water in reservoirs is also promising. Indian reservoirs currently have 188% more water availability in 123 reservoirs than available last year. On a 10 year average basis, India has 154% higher water availability.

According to Central Water Commission (CWC), as of 2 July, storage stood at 54.9 BCM (billion cubic metre), which is 32% of the total storage capacity.  Meanwhile, 13 regions have received large excess to excess rainfall between 1st June to 9th July. These sub-divisions include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Saurashtra and Cooch Bihar etc. Regions which have received normal rainfall include Kerala and Mahe, Uttarakhand, Assam and Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana among others. Regions which have received scanty rainfall include West Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. 

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