Importance of Rains for Indian Economy
- Farm Sector is Still Crucial For Indian Economy
- India faces the prospects of a second drought in 4 years, though it is too early in the season to worry.
- Statistically, its significance has declined as now farm sector has a much lower share in GDP. However, with over 50% of population still finding its livelihood in the sector, any stress in the sector has a disproportionately large impact on people
- How Important Is Monsoon For Agriculture?
- Since India gets most of its water from the 3 months of rains, the importance of monsoons cannot be understated. However, increase in irrigation facilities has helped reduce risks
- How Monsoon Affects Farm Output?
- Only in extreme drought years does the output drop sharply. The rising importance of winter crop and better irrigation has improved India’s ability to withstand monsoon shortfall
- Is Monsoon Linked To Inflation?
- A poor monsoon can create shortage. But in recent years, food inflation has been high despite rains due to shift in demand patterns. A good buffer stock has also weakened the linkage
- Current assessment by experts & Forecast for the year 2012
“Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2012 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is most likely to be normal; It set in over Kerala on June 05. The cumulative seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole during June 01-21 is 76 percent of total average rainfall”
- According to the weather office, the monsoon rains in 2012 would be 96% of the long-term average overall, down from its April forecast of 99%.
- As per the Meteorological Department’s classification, a normal or average monsoon means rainfall between 96-104% of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres in total during the four-month season from June.
- The weather office also forecast average rains in July and August, key months for planting and maturing of crops. It also said that El Nino phenomenon won’t have any bearing on monsoon.
- As on 2nd July 2012 India’s crucial monsoon rains have been 31% deficient so far but the weather office has forecast increase in rainfall for peninsular region and fall in temperature for northern region over the next four days. According to data released by the weather office on Sunday evening, 83% of the area of the country, including the granary states of Punjab and Haryana, has received deficient or scanty rainfall. The country as a whole has received 119.3 mm rainfall as against the normal of 172 mm since the onset till July 1.
- The weatherman said cyclonic circulations had formed over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, raising hopes for good rains in the peninsular region. Weather scientists expect the monsoon rains to revive later this week and bring copious rains to most parts of the country.
- These two weather systems are traditionally known to drive the monsoon rains into parts of north and northwest India through their interaction with the extra-tropical systems or the western disturbances. The MET office has forecast rain or thundershowers would occur at many places over west coast, interior Maharashtra, interior Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Odisha, south Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
- Rainfall in June accounts for 18% of season’s total and the deficiency had been 29 per cent till Saturday. In 2009, the June rains were 47.2% below a 50-year average called as the long period average. This year has seen a delayed onset of monsoon rains over Kerala and they have been making a sluggish progress drawing concerns from the farming community.
- Monsoon rains are crucial to bring prosperity to farmers, which helps demand for gold, fertilizers and sales of consumer goods and cars as two-thirds of India’s population depends on agriculture
“Average rainfall is good for crop production, but it needs to be evenly distributed. So far the spread wasn’t good. Sowing in some areas was delayed due to poor rainfall. There is need of good rains in the next two-three weeks to accelerate sowing.” – Nalini Rao, a senior analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage Angel Commodities Pvt Ltd.
- Between 1994 and 2009, IMD forecast has been incorrect 12 times. The deviation has been plus or minus 5% from forecast.
- This means the rainfall was either more or less at least 5% of the forecast measured as a percentage of the long-term average.
- In 2002, IMD predicted rains at 108 per cent of the long-term average. The actual rainfall was 81 per cent.
- The difference was a staggering 20%. In 2009, it was predicted to be 96%, it turned out to be 77% of the long-term average, a difference of 19 per cent.
- Similarly, when IMD predicted less rains, the year saw the country receiving much more rain.
- In 2007, IMD predicted 95% cent rainfall over long-term average. The actual was 106%.
This week is very crucial for the Monsoon 2012, Let’s see what is there in store for us.
- India to launch monsoon ‘mission’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Reading the rains (thehindu.com)
- How India’s monsoon forecast is off the mark almost every year (ndtv.com)