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Monsoon Shortfall by 20% in India Raises Concerns for Agriculture

India's crucial monsoon season has delivered 20% less rainfall than usual, sparking worries about the agricultural sector's well-being. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported significant rainfall deficits across most regions since June 1st, except a few southern areas. Heatwaves are adding to the concerns in north-western states.

KJ Staff
Shortfall of monsoon will impact farmers in India (Photo Source: Pexels.com)
Shortfall of monsoon will impact farmers in India (Photo Source: Pexels.com)

While the monsoon has weakened, IMD officials believe it will regain strength and potentially compensate for the current shortfall. The monsoon season typically commences in the south around June 1st, gradually covering the entire country by July 8th. This period is vital for planting essential crops like rice, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.  A deficient monsoon season can significantly impact crop yields and economic growth.

The data reveals a stark difference in rainfall patterns across the country.  Central India, a key producer of soybean, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses, has witnessed a concerning 29% rainfall deficit.

The southern region, known for paddy cultivation, received 17% more rainfall due to an early monsoon arrival. The situation is grim in the northwest and northeast regions, facing deficits of 68% and 20% respectively.

Monsoon Rains Critical for Indian Economy:

Monsoon rains are the lifeblood of India's $3.5 trillion economy, supplying 70% of the water needed for agriculture and replenishing water reserves. Nearly half of India's agricultural land lacks irrigation facilities, making it entirely dependent on the annual monsoon season that typically lasts until September.

Heatwaves Compound Problems in North:

The scorching heatwave gripping northern states is expected to persist for a few more days, with temperatures forecasted to dip over the weekend. 

Currently, these regions are experiencing maximum temperatures ranging from 42 to 47.6 degrees Celsius, exceeding normal levels by 4-9 degrees Celsius.  In Delhi, the IMD has issued a "red" alert warning residents to take precautions against the extreme heat.

Despite the current setback, the IMD maintains a hopeful outlook. They believe the monsoon's revival can lead to a quick turnaround, potentially erasing the rain deficit. The coming days will be crucial as farmers and the nation wait for the monsoon to regain momentum and ensure a successful agricultural season.

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