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Crop vulnerability grows with fickle rains, shows CRISIL's DRIP index

DRIP scores for these crops are worse than their respective averages in the previous five years

Delhi monsoon

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Monsoon has again veered towards inadequacy.

All-India cumulative rainfall as on August 28 was 8 per cent below the long period average (LPA), compared with the previous week’s 7 per cent below LPA, which is below normal.

The deficit is the widest in the southern peninsula (-17 per cent deviation from LPA), followed by the north-east (-15 per cent) and the central region (-7 per cent). In contrast, the north-west has seen above-normal rains (6 per cent). Worryingly, the deficit has been growing in the major kharif-producing states of Bihar  (-25 per cent), Karnataka (-20 per cent), and Jharkhand (-35 per cent). For a comprehensive perspective on the impact of rainfall on states and crops, one must also factor in vulnerabilities that arise from inadequate irrigation.

This is what CRISIL’s Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter — or DRIP — does; it factors in the cumulative impact of rains, as well as irrigation cover. Specifically, the higher the CRISIL DRIP score, the more adverse is the impact of deficient rains.

The latest DRIP scores (based on disaggregated data available up to August 23) show an increase in vulnerability for six crops — tur, jowar, bajra, soybean, maize, and rice. DRIP scores for these crops are worse than their respective averages in the previous five years. Eight major kharif crop-producing states have DRIP scores worse than their five-year average. Among them, the DRIP score is the worst for Jharkhand, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Notably, these three states are major tur dal producers, which also has the worst DRIP score.  Overall, total sowing was up 0.4 per cent year-on-year, with rice 4.4 per cent higher. Sowing for tur is down 5 per cent, for urad is 13 per cent and for moong is 8 per cent. Rainfall in August plays a critical role in determining the final kharif output. Weather forecasting agency Skymet observed this month to be the driest August in over 100 years. El Niño has set in, and has affected rainfall in August, according to India Meteorological Department 1. 

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First Published: Aug 29 2023 | 11:31 PM IST

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