Some cheer to farmers: Monsoon to be normal, Met Department forecasts
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on 12 April said monsoon this year is likely to be normal. In a statement the IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said there are 94% chances of country receiving "normal to above normal" rainfall while there is only 1 % probability of "deficient" rainfall.
This forecast is likely to cheer up the farmers, as large parts of India has been reeling under two consecutive drought. Rathore also added that Marathwada and Bundelkhand will also recieve “good rainfall” this year.
"By and large, there will be a fair distribution of monsoon across the country. It will be a good year. During good monsoon conditions there still remain some pockets...which is North-East India, where slightly less than normal monsoon is expected. Also the South-East part of the Peninsula like Tamil Nadu and adjoining Rayalseema districts, may get slightly less than normal rainfall," Rathore added.
"We are also expecting good month-wise quantitative distribution which may accentuate in the later half or the middle of the monsoon," Rathore said.
According to IMD scientist the El Nino conditions are "weakening". El Nino is a climatic phenomena which creates fluctuations in weather in the Equatorial Pacific regions. Due to an active El Nino monsoon was adversely affected last year and also caused warmer winters.
Agriculture, which contributes 15% to India's GDP and employs about 60% population, is heavily dependent on monsoon as only 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Ten states have declared drought hit. The Central government has sanctioned a relief package of about Rs 10,000 crore to help farmers following poor monsoon in 2015-16 crop year.