The southwest monsoon is expected to make a strong comeback in the next 2-3 days over North and East India, along with Gujarat, which might bring down the cumulative seasonal deficit to 2-3 per cent from the current 8 per cent, met department officials said.
The western and central parts of the country have seen strong rainfall but the north India plains, including in big agrarian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Gujarat, have been left out, despite a strong start to the monsoon in June.
“The monsoon is expected to make a strong recovery over North and East India in the next 2-3 days, which will bring down the overall cumulative shortfall to about 2-3 per cent from the existing 8 per cent. In Gujarat too the monsoon has revived,” Charan Singh, senior IMD official said.
So far, the southwest monsoon has been below par in 13 of the 36 meteorological divisions.
According to the latest IMD bulletin, in UP, the southwest monsoon has so far been almost 54 per cent below normal, while in Jharkhand it is 39 per cent less. In Bihar the deficit is 32 per cent, while in Odisha it is 26 per cent.
In Gujarat, which lies on the western coast, the southwest monsoon so far has been 43 per cent below normal so far.
A big reason why cotton and groundnut sowing has been below last year’s level as Gujarat is a major producer of these two crops.
In UP, paddy sowing, along with sowing of kharif pulses, has been delayed due to weak monsoon so far, but most experts said the situation on the ground isn’t that difficult and might overturn in the next few weeks, as sowing window is open till first week of August.
Till last week, kharif crops have been sown in about 33.37 million hectares, which was around 14.17 per cent less than the area covered during the same period last year.
Before that, this difference was almost 22 per cent, which was among the steepest drop in acreage in June in the last few years. Between last week and this week, there has been an improvement in sowing.
As compared to normal area covered, sowing in 2018 is almost 10 per cent less till July 6. Normal area covered is the average of last five years.