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Monsoon Turns Deficient in North-West India

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

Monsoon in India has arrived timely and so far India has received rainfall 6% above than normal. Due to timely arrival Kharif sowing has got a boost and as on July 17, net sowing area was more than 20% over last year corresponding period’s sowing area. Nevertheless the north western part of the country is still deficient in sufficient rainfall as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). According to the IMD rainfall has been more than normal in the south peninsula, central India, and east and northeast India divisions, but in the northwest India division, which covers Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan, there has been a 19% deficiency till now. Monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 1, its normal onset date, and the country is expected to experience a normal monsoon season, according to the IMD's forecast. 

Earlier in the month of June the IMD had predicted 107% of rainfall of the Long Period Average (LPA) for northwest India which comes under the 'above normal' category. However there has not been enough rainfall over northwest India. Till Sunday i.e. July 20 rainfall deficiency was noted in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and large scale deficiency was recorded for Ladhak Region. If deficient rainfall continues for few more weeks, then it can affect the yields of various crops of North West India. Major Agriculture belts in this region are states of Rajasthan/UP/Haryana and Punjab.  

Rajasthan has a diverse agro-climatic condition and is actively engaged in the cultivation of a variety of crops, with a strong animal husbandry sector. Having a contribution of nearly 25.56% of State’s total GSDP in 2019-20, Agriculture in the state, continues to be the backbone of the State’s economy with Agriculture & allied sectors.  Rajasthan ranks first in producing barley, mustard, pearl millet, coriander, fenugreek and guar in India. The state is producer of nearly 72% of guar of the world and 60% of India's barley crop output. Rajasthan is major producer of aloe vera, amla, oranges leading producer of maize, groundnut. The state government had initiated olive cultivation with technical support from Israel. The current production of olives in the state is around 100–110 tonnes annually. Rajasthan is India's second largest producer of milk, with nearly 13800 dairy co-operative societies.  

Wheat, rice, pulses, oilseeds and potatoes are major agricultural products in the state of UP and sugarcane is the most important cash crop throughout the state. Uttar Pradesh is one of the most important states in India as far as horticulture is concerned. Mangoes are also produced in the state. The principal crops of Punjab are barley, wheat, rice, maize and sugarcane. Among the fodder crops are Bajjra and Jowar. Similarly, in Haryana, the ten main crops grown are rice, jowar, bajra, maize, wheat, barley, gram, mustard (including rapeseed), cotton (both American and Desi) and sugarcane. There are two more months left for the monsoons to retreat, therefore scope of revival in rainfall in the deficient regions remains better as of now. Hence under present scenario, there will not be much concern regarding any notable crop loss in Major producing states of North West India.  

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