After recording 31.47 cm of rainfall during the past 30 days, July this year may see the highest rainfall since 1994, when the country received 35.24 cm of rainfall in the second month of the monsoon season. July is crucial for agriculture as it shares a maximum of 32 per cent rainfall in the June-September monsoon season. Major sowing areas get covered during this period in a normal year.
The paddy transplanting was up 2 per cent at 237.58 lakh hectares (lh) as of July 28, as against 233.25 lh a year ago. Except for pulses crops, which are lower by 11 per cent, most crops have been sown in higher areas compared with a year ago, after monsoon covered the entire country on July 2, six days earlier than its normal schedule.
- Read: After 10% deficit in June, IMD predicts normal rainfall in July
With as much as 597 lh covered only during July, the total acreage under all Kharif crops has reached 799.70 lh, 76 per cent of the season’s normal area.
The South-West Monsoon, accounting for 74 per cent of the total annual rainfall (117.69 cm) received in India, is key to agriculture and the kharif crops grown between June and September and harvested around October. The kharif season makes up 60 per cent of India’s total agricultural production and holds the key to the country’s economy, particularly in rural areas. Even winter crops get a boost from good monsoons as reservoir water levels rise.
In 2022, the July rainfall was reported at 32.77 cm, the second-highest since 2001 and was 117 per cent of the month’s average of 28.04 cm. This helped the country to harvest near record 155.12 million tonnes (mt) of foodgrains, including 110.03 mt of rice from kharif season. The kharif foodgrains production was at an all-time high of 155.36 mt in 2021-22.
The India Meteorological Department is expected to share this week the outlook for August amid apprehension of lower rainfall due to impact of El Nino.
A South Korean weather model has projected that overall rainfall for the country during August would be mostly below normal in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, West Bengal, parts of Jammu and Kashmir and south coastal Tamil Nadu, where it will be above normal. The model also identified regions at risk: the west coast, peninsular India, west (including western Madhya Pradesh) and north-west India (excluding Uttar Pradesh).
However, agriculture ministry officials are confident that the crops can be managed even if there is up to a 15 per cent deficit, provided rains happen regularly, even if the quantity is less. The government has set a production target of 158.06 mt of foodgrains, including that include 111 mt of rice, 9.09 mt of pulses and 37.97 mt of coarse cereals and Shree Anna in current kharif season.
Web Title – India braces for highest July rainfall since 1994, boosting Kharif crop sowing