A HAT-TRICK OF NORMAL MONSOONS
But it played truant in Gujarat (which is the worst-hit), Haryana and Punjab
THE SOUTHWEST MONSOON IN 2018 ENDED with a rainfall deficiency of 9% of the long-period average, which is regarded as normal. That also makes it the third straight year of normal rainy season.
Yet, distribution (both, across time and regions) has been patchy with deficiency in pockets. June rains covered most parts of the country except north-west and east.
In the east rains stayed deficient throughout ending the season at 24% deficiency. In north-west, rains caught up in September but played truant in key kharif growing states of Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab in the crucial months of July and August. While Haryana and Punjab were rescued by a reasonable irrigation cover, Gujarat is facing the brunt.
Broadly, the season ended with rainfall deficiency ranging 12 to 27% in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Gujarat. Meanwhile, rainfall somewhat weakened in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra where given low irrigation cover, crops have been hurt.
Irrigation is an important determinant to assess impact of rainfall on states and crops. Rainfall volume data by itself is therefore insufficient to gauge the distribution impact.
That is where CRISIL's Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter, or DRIP, provides a better assessment of deficiency because it considers the irrigation buffer available for states and crops. The higher the CRISIL DRIP score, the more adverse the impact of deficient rains.
Final DRIP scores for the season continued to highlight the strain in Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. In these states, scores are higher than last year as well as above the average of the past five years.
Final scores for crop-wise DRIP show stress in groundnut (largely cultivated in rain-deficient Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh), followed by tur (Gujarat and Maharashtra), jowar (Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra), and cotton (Gujarat and Maharashtra).
Meanwhile, advanced estimates on production released by the Ministry of Agriculture mirror the stress highlighted by DRIP. The estimates show a dip in output of groundnut, tur, jowar and cotton. In addition estimates are also lower for bajra (cultivated mainly in Rajasthan and Gujarat) and soybean (Maharashtra).
Note: DRIP scores are for rainfall data from June 1 to August 29 for each year Source: Indian Meteorological Department, Ministry of Agriculture, CRISIL