IMD PRE­DICTS ‘NOR­MAL’ MON­SOON THIS YEAR

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE - DHIRENDRA KUMAR

NEW DELHI: For the NDA gov­ern­ment, which is fac­ing the heat of op­po­si­tion par­ties over farmer-re­lated is­sues, the re­lief has come from In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment (IMD) as the na­tional weather fore­caster has pre­dicted ‘nor­mal' mon­soon rains dur­ing June-septem­ber pe­riod.

The IMD pre­dic­tion is set to prove a ma­jor re­lief for the gov­ern­ment as bet­ter rain­fall dis­tri­bu­tion may help the gov­ern­ment in achiev­ing a fresh record in agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion out­put by sur­pass­ing this year's record high of 277.49 mil­lion tonnes (MT).

It's worth men­tion­ing that south­west mon­soon is the lifeline of In­dia's agri­cul­ture as well as the over­all econ­omy as over 50 per cent of the coun­try's pop­u­la­tion is de­pen­dent on farm­ing and about 15 per cent of the GDP comes from agri­cul­ture and al­lied sec­tors.

While re­leas­ing the mon­soon pre­dic­tion, IMD Di­rec­tor-gen­eral KG Ramesh said, “Mon­soon 2018 is likely to re­main nor­mal at 97 per cent (with an er­ror mar­gin of +/-5 per cent) of the long pe­riod av­er­age (LPA) for the four­month pe­riod from June to Septem­ber.”

Ramesh fur­ther said that there was “very less prob­a­bil­ity” of a de­fi­cient mon­soon and the date of on­set of mon­soon would be an­nounced in the mid­dle of May. The IMD chief as­sured that the coun­try would not face de­fi­cient rain­fall dur­ing mon­soon sea­son this year.

No­tably, the mon­soon is con­sid­ered nor­mal if the av­er­age rain­fall is be­tween 96 to 104 per cent of long pe­riod av­er­age, while any­thing less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a ‘de­fi­cient' mon­soon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is con­sid­ered ‘be­low nor­mal'.

Ac­cord­ing to IMD, there is 42 per cent pos­si­bil­ity of nor­mal rain­fall and 12 per cent pos­si­bil­ity of above nor­mal rain­fall - it means there are good chances of nor­mal rain­fall in the coun­try. Mon­soon will hit the coun­try's main­land in Ker­ala ei­ther in last week of May or in the first week of June.

Fore­cast on the dis­tri­bu­tion of rain­fall and pre­dic­tion on monthly rains for July, Au­gust, and Septem­ber would be made by the IMD in early June.

This is the third con­sec­u­tive year when the IMD pre­dicted nor­mal mon­soon rains for the coun­try. In­dia had 95 per cent of the LPA rain­fall last year — as against the first fore­cast of 96 per cent of the LPA (with an er­ror mar­gin of +/- 5 per cent). The coun­try had faced de­fi­cient rains dur­ing mon­soon sea­son in 2015 and 2014, mak­ing both these years drought years.

Buoy­ant over the IMD pre­dic­tion, Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary SK Pat­tanayak said, “The nor­mal mon­soon would boost kharif sow­ing that will start from June. We ex­pect food­grain out­put to sur­pass this year's record.”

“There would be a slight de­fi­ciency of mon­soon rains in south­ern penin­su­lar and north­east­ern parts for a month, but that would be re­cov­ered. The nor­mal mon­soon fore­cast au­gurs well for agri­cul­ture and the over­all econ­omy,” Pat­tanayak said.

Com­ment­ing on the IMD fore­cast, Ganesh Nan­ote, a Vi­darbha re­gion farmer, said, “It's a cheer­ful mo­ment for farmer's com­mu­nity as most of the agri­cul­ture is de­pen­dent on mon­soon rain­fall. Bet­ter rain rain­fall would trans­late into bumper pro­duc­tion.”

“The IMD pre­dic­tion is enough to be­lieve that God is with us. So the re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments at the Cen­tre and states should also start tak­ing de­ci­sions in the larger in­ter­est of farm­ers,” Nan­ote added.

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