The Indian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and the livelihood of the Indian farmer largely depends on the Monsoon rains. If figures are to be believed, 70 per cent of the Indian population depends on farming, either directly or indirectly. Around 58 per cent of the total employment in the country is through agriculture. Also, the agricultural sector in our country contributes to around 18 per cent of the GDP.
Southwest Monsoon in India is a four month long affair from June till September. More than 75 per cent of India’s annual rainfall occurs during this period itself. The fate of the Kharif crops depend on the performance of the southwest Monsoon. Good rains during the season result in bountiful crops which further benefit the farmers.
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A major portion of the country’s crop area is completely dependent on Monsoon rains as they’re not equipped with methods of manual irrigation. Simply speaking, the Indian economy gains due to good Monsoon rains in the country. On the other hand, weak Monsoon rains result in crop failure which affects the economy in a negative manner due to lower production. Later on, this translates into price-rise, low industrial output, and other issues.
Normal Monsoon rains keep a check on food inflation due to the availability of food produce. However, in a situation of drought, prices soar significantly. Not only do the prices increase drastically but the cost of living also tends to reach a new high. Also, if poor Monsoon results in less crop output, the country may even need to import.
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More than anything else, the failure of Monsoon has a huge impact on the life of the Indian farmer. Most Indian farmers rely on good crop produce during Monsoon to earn their living and in order to overcome debts incurred. Crop failure and/or deficient rainfall is one big reason for mass farmer suicides across the country. This further cements the importance of Monsoon in an agrarian economy like India.
Lastly, agriculture isn’t the only sector which is affected by the performance of Monsoon. In fact, as many as a dozen sectors depend on Monsoon, either directly or indirectly. Thus it is safe to say that Monsoon does play a big role in India. The agricultural output of rain-fed crop areas in the country has social, political, as well as economic implications.
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