Normal monsoon to boost farm sector, farmers' income key: MS

23 April, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • A commuter uses his briefcase to protect himself from rain in New Delhi

A normal monsoon is crucial for agriculture growth as India still to a large extent depend on rains and monsoon delivers 70 per cent of total rains received by the country in a year.

"The forecasts for the 2017 monsoon from the statistical model and the dynamic model are both 96 per cent", said Madhavan Rajeevan, a senior meteorologist and secretary, the ministry of earth sciences, which had supported the development of the dynamic model. "Good monsoon rainfall will increase farmers' income and consequently demand from the countryside".

Private weather forecaster Skymet has predicted 95 per cent rainfall with a margin of plus or minus 5 per cent for 2017 due to fears of El Nino this year.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that India would receive "normal" monsoon, with a fair distribution of rainfall across the country.

IMD forecast that monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with an error of 5 per cent. Monsoon rainfall between 96 per cent and 104 percent is considered normal and lower than 96 is categorised as "below normal".

The Met department also said that forecast assessment suggested "38% probability for near-normal monsoon rainfall" this year but when asked whether this indicated higher chances of deficit rainfall, Ramesh said, such assumptions were premature. An important indicator of having better farm output across India is good spatial rainfall distribution.

"The forecast is on a lower band of the normal range and the situation per say is not as rosy as a year ago", said Faiyaz Hudani, associate vice president for research at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd.

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Anything between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA is considered "normal", while under 96 per cent rainfall is categorised as "below normal".

Average rainfall as a whole, will likely be around 96%, the IMD added.

Last year, the southern peninsula had registered deficient rainfall and several parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala reeled under drought-like situation.

"Earlier, there was a more than a 50 per cent chance of El Niño developing, which has now gone down, " Ramesh said.

"There is an uncertainty, as probability of moderate El Nino in August has reduced".

The El Nino, which refers to an unusual warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean, is known to impact weather events worldwide and, in India, is associated with a suppressed rainfall during the monsoon season.

At present, neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean. These two effects have opposing impacts on the Indian monsoon and are likely to cancel each other out. However, there is no one to one relationship between El Nino and Indian Monsoon.

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