NEW DELHI: India is likely to see a prolonged monsoon this year with above normal rainfall expected throughout September, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday.
Most regions of the country have received normal to excess rainfall this year, officials at the government’s weather office said and added there is an indication of a prolonged monsoon. “There is indication of a prolonged monsoon. But if we look at some parts, monsoon is showing signs of retreating. We will continue to monitor the situation,” a weather department official said.
Ample rainfall during monsoon is crucial for Indian farmers as it waters more than half of the country’s farmlands that lack assured irrigation. A good harvest helps in containing inflation.
The finance ministry’s monthly economic report said, despite a 23.9% on-year contraction in the India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the April-June quarter, agricultural sector emerged as a ‘bright spot’ at 3.4% growth.
“The cumulative monsoon rainfall was 9.2 per cent above the long-period average (LPA) up to September 2. Record total area sown under kharif crops and healthy live storage in major reservoirs bodes well for the rabi season. Kharif harvest in the third quarter contributes to almost one-third of the GVA (gross value added) in agriculture in India,” the report said, adding that a bumper kharif harvest will provide the much needed boost to the GDP in the current fiscal.
Official data showed that farmers have so far sown crops across 109.5 mln ha, up 6% on-year during the kharif season. The acreage has exceeded the normal area of 106.6 mln ha due to above-normal south-west monsoon rainfall through June, at a time when most of the sowing takes place.