Govt Expects a Good Monsoon
Agri secy says La Nina conditions favour good rainfall; IMD forecast likely soon
ON FOOD PRODUCTION Weather inclemency has led to a drop in food products and food grains, and therefore our strategy this year is to ensure that we surpass the production figure of the past year SHOBHANAKPATTANAYAK Agriculture Secretary
& Madhvi Sally
Pune/New Delhi: The government expects a good monsoon this year after two years of drought, as the raindisrupting El Nino phenomenon is retreating, agriculture secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said.
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) have already said that this year’s monsoon will be much better, and IMD has finalised its official forecast, officials said.
Pattanayak said La Nina conditions, which boost rainfall in India, are likely to develop this year, favouring a good monsoon. “Weather inclemency has led to a drop in food products and food grains, and therefore our strategy this year is to ensure that we surpass the production figure of the previous year,” Pattanayak said.
IMD officials said the forecast would be issued very soon. “On Tuesday, we might issue the South-west monsoon forecast,” said a meteorologist.
Two consecutive years of belownormal monsoon, along with weak rainfall in winter and high temperature, have made famers jittery and led to higher prices of commodities such as sugar and pulses, making this year’s rainy season even more critical for the country’s largely rain-dependent agriculture.
“As long as kharif crops get the sowing rain, which is just enough for germination of seeds, followed by rains that are spatially and temporally well distributed, it would be good for India’s agriculture,” said a senior meteorologist of IMD, who did not wish to be identified.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), too, in its El Nino forecast issued on April 11 has said that El Niño conditions, which have persisted since the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2014, are decaying. It is likely that the El Niño event will end before early summer.
“Thereafter, it is more likely that La Niña conditions will develop in the Northern Hemisphere summer,” stated the JMA update. During most of the La Nina years, Indian monsoon rainfall was close to normal or above normal. A senior IMD scientist, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Apart from the fact that El Nino will be neutral by August, other factors like the current above normal temperatures may prove helpful to get good rains.”