Economics & Politics / Rural India

Indian Agriculture: Status of Monsoon 2012 and Impact on Kharif Crop – August’12

Indian Agriculture: Status of Monsoon 2012 and Impact on Kharif Crop – August’12

Current Monsoon Status

  • As per the IMD forecast outlook for rainfall during August – September 2012,
    • Rainfall is likely to be normal (96% + 9% of LPA) during August
    • Below normal (<94% of LPA) during August to September
    • Deficient (<90% of LPA) during June to September
  • Cumulative Monsoon Rainfall for the country as a whole during the period 1st June to 01st August, 2012 is 19% less than LPA.
  • Rainfall in the four broad geographical divisions of the country during the above period was
    • (-) 35% in North West India
    • (-) 15% in Central India
    • (-) 23% in South Peninsula
    • (-) 11% in East & North East India


Weekly and Cumulative Rainfall in four regions of the country


E: Excess, N: Normal, D: Deficient, S: Scanty, NR: No Rain.

Source: India Meteorological Department, New Delhi

  • Out of a total of 36 met sub-divisions, 16 met sub-divisions constituting 41% of the total area of the country have received excess / normal rainfall and the remaining 20 met sub-divisions constituting 59% of the total area of the country have received deficient/scanty rainfall.
  • Scanty rainfall met sub-divisions are Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Punjab, West Rajasthan and Saurashtra & Kutch.
  • Rainfall was deficient by (-)29% in June, 2012 and by (-) 13% during July, 2012 leading to a cumulative deficiency of (-)20% upto 02nd August, 2012.
  • Out of 628 districts for which data was available, 47 (7%) received excess, 211 (34%) received normal, 274 (44%) received deficient and 93 (15%) received scanty rainfall

Weather Outlook / Forecast for the period 02nd – 08th August, 2012 by IMD

  • According to forecasts, there will be good rainfall in Eastern & Central India next week.
  • In Northwest India UP, Uttarakhand and HP are also expected to get good rains but Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab will get only scattered rainfall. In Southern Peninsula, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh area expected to get good rains but rest of Peninsula would get subdued rainfall.
  • Cumulative deficiency of (-) 19% is equal to that recorded on 29th July, 2009. Though percentage of scanty districts (15%) are lower in 2012 as compared to (19%) in 2009 on the above dates.

Water Storage & Availability

  • Central Water Commission monitors 84 major reservoirs in the country which have a total live capacity of 154.42 BCM at Full Reservoir Level (FRL).
    • Current live storage in these reservoirs as on 02nd August, 2012 was 46.32 BCM as against 70.55 BCM on 02.08.2011(last year) and 57.46 BCM of normal storage (average storage of the last 10 years).
    •  Current year’s storage is 66% of the last year’s and 81% of the normal storage. Major States reporting lower than normal storage are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and UP.
  • Basin level reservoir storage (with reference to average storage) was lower by (-) 49% in Krishna, (-) 34% in Godavari, (-) 36% in Cauvery, (-) 43% in West flowing rivers of South, (-) 45% in Indus, () 72% in Rivers of Kutch and (-) 6% in Mahanadi basin. Reservoir storage was better at 64% in Ganga, 32% in Narmada, 29%in Sabarmati, 23% in Mahi and 9% in Tapi basin.
  • Punjab, Haryana and Western parts of UP where substantial area is sown under irrigated conditions, required additional power in view of persistent deficiency of rainfall.

Impact of Monsoon on Kharif Crop Sowing

  • 751.27 lakh ha. area had been sown under various Kharif crops upto 03.08.2012 as compared to 827.62 hectare of last year and average sown area of 794.64 lakh ha. upto the corresponding period of previous years.
  • Major decline has been reported under
    • Rice (-22.5 lakh ha.)
    • Coarse Cereals (-26.3 lakh ha.)
    • Pulses (-14.7 lakh ha.)
    • Oilseed (-4.8 lakh ha.)
    • Cotton (-9.8 lakh ha.)
  • However, area coverage is higher by 5.7 lakh ha. in Soyabean and 2.3 lakh ha. in Sugarcane.


Cropwise/ Statewise Sowing progress of Kharif crops


  • Rice is the main Kharif sown crop in India and holds a major chunk of about 68% of the total food grain produced in the Kharif season.
  • West Bengal contributes about 18-20% share in the total Rice production in India, whereas Bihar, Assam and other Northeastern states contributes more than 10% share in total Rice production in India.
  • Although, monsoon has recovered in the north eastern part of India in the last week, the overall sowing remain lower.


  • Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are the main Kharif pulses producing states. According to IMD, monsoons in central and Southern parts of the country (Kharif Pulses producing regions) are expected to be 96% and 95% of the LPA respectively.
  • However, monsoon in these regions have been 34% and 28% below normal so far and this has affected sowing of Pulses to a large extent.
  • Area sown under Pulses this year is 34% lower at 3.99 lakh hectares compared to 6.08 lakh ha during the same period last year.
  • According to Andhra Pradesh Farm department, area under Pulses is down by 48.7%.
  • Going by the area under Pulses cultivation till now and the monsoon progress as of today we expect area under Pulses to remain stable or may even decline if monsoon fails to recover in the month of July.


  • Major Kharif oilseed producing regions are Madhya Pradesh (Soybean), Gujarat (Groundnut) and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Soybean is the largest produced oilseed in India and the area under this protein crop is expected to increase this season as farmers may shift to this crop on account of higher returns earned in 2011-12season.
  • The sowing which was lagging behind due to below normal rains has recovered with advancement of monsoon in Maharashtra.
  • As on 28th June total oilseeds sowing is down by 17% while area under soybean increased by 37% to 6.3 lakh hectares. Oilseeds planting would improve further once monsoon fully grips the Western, Central and Northern parts of India.


  • Cotton, one of the most important cash crops of India may witness drop in acreage in the coming season as farmers may shift to more lucrative crops like Soybean in Maharashtra and Guar in Rajasthan.
  • North India, Cotton sowing is completed in the irrigated areas. However, in other parts it commences with the onset of monsoon.


  • Sugarcane planting is almost completed across India with acreage higher so far by around 4.6% at 52.2 lakh hectares.
  • The cane crop is in the growing phase and thus southwest monsoon is very crucial to maintain yield of the crop.
  • Expectations of below normal rains might affect sugarcane and thereby sugar output in 2012-13 and this has led to the upside in sugar prices in the last 2-3 weeks.


  • Turmeric and red chilli sowing in the southern regions of the country, the hub of spices, starts with the onset of monsoons.
  • However, this year sowing of Chilli in Guntur and adjoining areas have commenced on slow pace and is likely to gather pace only by the mid of July on account of inadequate rainfall.
  • With respect to Turmeric, sowing is expected to decline this year as farmers may shift to other remunerative crops. AP contributes 50% in the total Turmeric output in India.
  • Normal acreage under turmeric in A.P. is around 67000 hectares. However, till now only 7000 hectares area has been covered so far.

Food Grain Price: Inflation in India

  • The Primary Articles inflation rate based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) on a point to point basis for the month of June 2012, decreased to 10.46% from the level of 10.88% in the month of May, 2012. The inflation rate was 11.31% during the corresponding period of last year.
  • Among the foodgrains, inflation for Rice has increased to 7.46% from the previous month’s level of 5.07%, Wheat to 6.82% from the previous month’s level of 6.81%, Cereals to 6.74% from the previous month’s level of 5.73% and Pulses to 20.48% from the previous month’s level of 16.61%.
  • The inflation for non-food items has decreased to 6.85% from the previous month’s level of 8.47% and for the food items has increased to 10.81% from the previous month’s level of 10.74%.

Percentage Variations in the Wholesale Price Indices (WPI) of Major items


Conclusion: Impact of below average rainfall on the Kharif Crop Prices

  • Sowing of kharif (summer) crops including paddy, cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, soybean and pulses has already started in states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Orissa.
  • The IMD has also predicted a country-wide average rainfall of 93 per cent of LPA (`below normal`) for July, but 101 per cent (`above normal`) in August.
  • Importantly, the key region of central India (which includes states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat) is expected to see a much better performance over the remaining three months; the region is likely to record 99 per cent of the LPA this season, while the north-west (which includes the nation`s granary states of Punjab and Haryana and parts of western Uttar Pradesh) is expected to get a little over 80 per cent of its LPA.
  • The met office has projected 93 per cent of the LPA for the southern peninsula and 92 per cent for the north-east. Farmers in the north-west are not so much dependent on the monsoon; irrigation covers vast tracts of land. In Punjab, nearly 98 per cent of farmland is irrigated, either from canals or tube-wells.
  • Even in Haryana, the figure is as high as 85 per cent. The kharif crop in north India is also not overly dependent on the south-west monsoons, as most of the rivers are fed with water from the melting snow in the Himalayas during the summer.
  • But 60% of India`s cultivable area of 140 million hectares – located mainly in peninsular and central India – is rain-fed and any delays (or deficit) in rainfall hurts the prospects of the farmsector.
  • For instance, the delayed onset of the monsoons over central India will hurt the production of oilseeds, pulses, cotton and sugarcane.
  • Prices of all these commodities have started rising and the government may have to go in for imports, especially of pulses.
  • There could also be a sugar shortage later this year, towards the festival season, if the production of sugarcane is affected in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, two of the largest cane-growing states.



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