Govt Ex­pects a Good Mon­soon

Agri secy says La Nina con­di­tions favour good rain­fall; IMD forecast likely soon

The Economic Times - - Economy & Companies -

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

Jayashree Bhos­ale

& 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.”

FILE PHOTO

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