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Monsoon expected to arrive on time this year, hit Kerala on June 1

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In some relief from an intense heat wave that has gripped northern India, the monsoon is expected to arrive on time this year, hitting Kerala on 1st June.

According to Doordarshan News, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that there is no possibility of delay in the arrival of monsoon as of now. It also added that the normal date for monsoon onset on the southern coast is the first of the next month. However, the south west monsoon is expected to be below normal this year and the country will receive about 93 per cent rainfall.

As heat wave conditions continued to sweep many parts of northern India, Haryana’s Hisar turned out to be the hottest place at 42.5 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature was five notches above normal while Amritsar in Punjab  recorded a near similar high at 42.3 degrees Celsius, four notches more than normal.

At 41.5 degrees Celsius and 39.5 degrees Celsius respectively, Narnaul and Ambala in Punjab also experienced hot weather. Chandigarh’s maximum settled at 40.1 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal.
There was no relief from heat in other parts of the two states as Ludhiana boiled at 41 degrees Celsius and Patiala at 40.7 degrees Celsius. The MeT department has forecast light rain and thunder showers at a few places in Haryana and Punjab over the next two days, and thunder squalls accompanied with hail and a wind speed exceeding 45 kilometres per hour may occur at isolated places in the two states

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Delayed Monsoon Spells Trouble for Farmers

The real challenge will be looking at the income security of small and marginal farmers in rain-fed areas

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Monsoon, Trouble, Farmers
The areas with irrigation such as Punjab and Haryana are not of concern. Pixabay

Southwest monsoon this year has become a thing of concern for policymakers as it has not just been delayed by a week, but it is also likely to be sluggish and erratic, which may spell trouble for the farm sector.

Paddy, the primary crop of the kharif season, is likely to be hit as June as well as July are expected to be rain-deficit. The output of pulses such as arhar (pigeon pea), soybean and coarse cereals is also likely to be affected.

As droughts occurred in patches across the country, there won’t be a disastrous impact on the overall food-grain production but it may have beating on small and marginal farmers by way of breaching their income security.

“The areas with irrigation such as Punjab and Haryana are not of concern. The real challenge will be looking at the income security of small and marginal farmers in rain-fed areas,” said T. Nandkumar, former Union Agriculture Secretary.

Monsoon, Trouble, Farmers
Southwest monsoon this year has become a thing of concern for policymakers. Pixabay

A senior official at the Agriculture Ministry said that it was in constant touch with the states to apprise the Centre of the developing situation.

“We have asked them to be prepared with precautionary and remedial measures in case there is deficit rainfall,” said the official, requesting anonymity.

However, there was no clarity if the state governments have ensured optimum seed reserves if first sowing attempt goes waste due to erratic rainfall.

The Food Ministry has started procuring over 50,000 tonnes of onion to deal with shortage if output goes down, indicating the government is not optimistic about good rainfall this year.

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Farmers have been advised by private weather forecaster Skymet to postpone sowing by almost a week of the conventional dates as it said there are less chances of rains if the onset of the monsoon is delayed.

If there is a long gap between two rain spells, there is high probability of newly planted seeds getting killed.

Skymet has predicted “below average” monsoon — 93 per cent of LPA — this year with indications of higher risk in the eastern parts and major portion of Central India being rain deficient.

The average, or normal, rainfall in the country is defined between 96 and 104 per cent of a 50-year average for the entire four-month monsoon season, or Long Period Average (LPA), which is 887 mm.

Monsoon, Trouble, Farmers
Paddy, the primary crop of the kharif season, is likely to be hit as June as well as July are expected to be rain-deficit. Pixabay

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted “near normal” monsoon — 95 per cent of the LPA — with evenly distributed rainfall.

It, however, said there is 51 per cent chance that the monsoon would be normal or above while there is 49 per cent probability that it remains below normal.

The Agriculture Ministry official said the rainfall this time is expected to be “erratic” and “sluggish” citing recent developments related to the monsoon.

The second half of the rainy season would see better rainfall as August and September are expected to see normal rains. However, the entire season is expected to end on a deficit note.

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The rainfall in June will be 77 per cent (164 mm) of the LPA while it will be 91 per cent (289 mm) in July, 102 per cent (261 mm) in August and 99 per cent (173 mm) in September, as per Skymet.

Skymet has said that paddy production is expected to reduce to 97.78 million tonnes this kharif season compared to 101.96 million tonnes in the previous season.

It also said there is 40 per cent possibility of about 66 per cent districts in the country being deficient or largely deficient if the monsoon is “below normal”.

Nandkumar expects about 100 districts, including those in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand, to be rain deficient. (IANS)