Delayed Monsoon, scanty rain and deficient rainfall are some of the adjectives that have begun to describe interior parts of Maharashtra – Vidarbha and Marathwada. The continuation of the dry spell often leads to delayed or poor sowing of kharif crops – the lifeline of farmers in the two sub-divisions. The deficient rainfall sometimes extends upto 80% in Marathwada and similarly dismal in Vidarbha as well.
Cause for the drought-like situation
Vidarbha and Marathwada are most vulnerable to the impact of poor monsoon. A significant population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture and thus any changes in rainfall and temperature significantly impacts their lives.
What results in this significant impact is the placement of Marathwada region on the map. It is the most interior part of Maharashtra due to which the bountiful rains over Maharashtra become meagre before they reach the places in this region such as Latur, Parbhani and Nanded. This unfavourable geographical presence of Marathwada has often led to recurrent monopoly of farmers’ suicides in Marathwada. Though lack of rational water policy and absence of irrigation also contribute to farmers’ suicides.
According to meteorologists in Skymet, during the Southwest Monsoon, Monsoon systems originating in Bay of Bengal moves inland and mostly affect Central India upto Vidarbha. The proximity of Vidarbha region to Madhya Pradesh proves to be beneficial as the region is able to receive light to moderate rainfall during the Southwest Monsoon.
On the other hand, the rainfall caused due to the Monsoon systems developed in the Arabian Sea is usually hogged by Konkan & Goa, Madhya Maharashtra including Nashik and Pune, giving only scanty rainfall over Marathwada. The region sandwiched between Vidarbha and rest of Maharashtra is thus worst affected during the Monsoon season.
Other weather systems such as Western Disturbance and Monsoon trough do not reach that far and thus do not impact the rainfall status in Marathwada.
Du to this inadequate rainfall, sowing takes a hit, leading to failed crop for farmers. This situation worsen the state of debt ridden farmers who are forced to migrate to other nearby states for survival.
Image Credit: milaap.org