Skymet weather

Normal Monsoon to boost Kharif production in 2015

June 5, 2015 6:22 PM |

Normal Monsoon to boost Kharif productionKharif crops are the Monsoon crops, cultivated and harvested during the Southwest Monsoon season. With the beginning of the rains, usually towards the end of May, Kharif crops are sown in the southern state of Kerala. The further advancement of Monsoon towards North India decides the sowing dates for different states in the country. A variety of Kharif crops are sown in as many as 17 states across India. Major Kharif crops include rice, cotton, maize, soybean and groundnut.

Dependence of Kharif crop states on Southwest Monsoon

Normal Monsoon to boost Kharif productionSouthwest Monsoon is crucial when it comes to annual Kharif crop production and yield. Delay in onset of Monsoon, its slow advancement, and/or uneven distribution of rain adversely affects Kharif crops in areas dependent on rain-fed irrigation. When it comes to categorizing areas dependent on rain-fed irrigation, we can categorize them into the following categories:

a)     Heavy dependence on Monsoon

b)    Moderate dependence on Monsoon

c)     Low dependence on Monsoon

Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Maharashtra are states which are heavily dependent on Southwest Monsoon for normal Kharif crop production. Moderately dependent states include Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and others. Lastly, Punjab and Haryana are the states with low dependence on Southwest Monsoon for irrigation of Kharif crops.

Southwest Monsoon and Indian Economy

A country’s economy relies on its industrial sector as well as agriculture. Being a mainly agrarian economy, the Indian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Annual rainfall in a country like India is of key importance as it irrigates lands and thus sustains agriculture. This is where Southwest Monsoon plays a crucial role. The onset and advancement of Southwest Monsoon has a direct impact on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India. A good Monsoon season curbs inflation and boosts the export process in India. Whereas an erratic Monsoon leads to a huge deficit in major agricultural states of India causing complete disarray.

Skymet prediction for Monsoon 2015

Skymet expects Monsoon 2015 to be normal, and has forecast the Monsoon at 102% with an error margin of +/- 4% of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month long rainy season, stretching from June to September.

As per Skymet Meteorology Division in India, in the month of June, only Jharkhand, Gujarat, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh will witness below normal rainfall with other states experiencing normal rainfall. Whereas in July, only Tamil Nadu will witness below normal rainfall with other states witnessing normal or above normal rainfall. In the month of August, Karnataka and Rajasthan will witness below normal rainfall, with other states recording normal or above normal rainfall. Lastly, in the month of September, Kerala, Gujarat, and Rajasthan will witness below normal rainfall with other states experiencing normal rainfall.

Assessment of Kharif crop production during normal Monsoon years

Normal Monsoon to boost Kharif production
Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation

In the last two normal Monsoon years, a big chunk of major Kharif crops remained concentrated in a few states. For example, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh contributed nearly 50% to the annual rice production in India in 2011-12 (49.53%) and 2012-13 (49.47%). Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Bihar contributed 43.02% (2011-12) and 47.55% (2012-13) to the country’s annual maize production. Also, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan contributed 78.02% (2011-12) and 70.53% (2012-13) to the annual groundnut production in India. The states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh added 68.46% (2011-12) and 69.8% (2012-13) to the country’s annual cotton production. Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra contributed nearly 85% to the country’s annual soybean production in 2012 and 2013.

Keeping previous normal Monsoon year records in mind, a rise in Kharif crop yield is expected in 2015. In contrast to 2014, when Monsoon rain was below normal, this year’s forecast for normal Monsoon rains gives a growth-friendly Kharif estimate. Major producers of rice, maize, cotton, soybean, and groundnut in the country are expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall between June and September. Sowing operations of Kharif crops will gain momentum as Southwest Monsoon moves towards North India. In the next four months, normal monsoon rains are expected to facilitate a good Kharif crop output. A bright Kharif outlook also translates into positive agricultural growth in this financial year.

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