Straight from the Specialists
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
India’s monsoon rains have been delayed and were already 30 percent deficient by the end of June. There are doubts whether rains will pick up during the rest of the season. August and September are likely to be dry which will damage crops and reduce farm incomes.
Rainfall was fairly normal in the last ten years except for 2002 and 2009 when actual precipitation was 79 percent and 77 percent of the normal. Apart from the total amount of rainfall, its timing and spacing can be critical.
The crops most dependent on monsoon are kharif crops — principally rice, pulses, oilseeds and sugar. In 2009, while total food grains production declined 7 percent, that of rice was down 11 percent. Spacing of rainfall can hit crops differently since they are grown in different regions.