A HAT-TRICK OF NOR­MAL MON­SOONS

But it played tru­ant in Gu­jarat (which is the worst-hit), Haryana and Pun­jab

Business Standard - - ECONOMY -

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

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