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With 11% below normal rain in June, all eyes are on IMD’s July forecast as 50% of India deficient

All eyes are stuck on the July forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which will be released later on Monday, as 50 per cent of India is parched after monsoon rainfall in June ended with 11 per cent below normal. The government has been betting on IMD’s “above normal” forecast to see a record production of 340.40 million tonnes (mt) of foodgrains during the 2024-25 crop year (July-June).

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According to IMD data, the country, received 147.2 mm of rainfall during June 1-30, which is 89 per cent of its long-period average (LPA) of 165.3 mm for the month. As many as 17 states and union territories covering half of the country’s geographical area are either deficient or large deficient. On the other hand, 19 states and union territories have received either normal or higher rainfall in June.

Last month, IMD revised its June rainfall forecast to “below normal” from “normal” after monsoon progress was stalled for many days. Rainfall between 92 per cent and 108 per cent of LPA is categorised as ‘normal’.

The states which have received normal or more rainfall include Assam, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Goa, Delhi, Ladakh, A&N Island, Puducherry and Lakshadweep.

On the other hand, key rice growing states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have deficient rainfall. Other states which too have below normal rains are Gujarat, Kerala, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Among different regions, the south peninsula has received 14 per cent surplus rain at 183.9 mm, Central India 14 per cent below normal at 147 mm, north west 33 per cent less than average at 52.6 mm and east and north-east region 13 per cent below average at 284.9 mm during June.

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“July gets highest rainfall in the four-month monsoon season and a surplus this month can help cover the deficit of June as happened last year,” said S K Singh, an agriculture scientist. He also said that the pace of kharif sowing is below expectation as it was assumed that farmers would start early this year. However, the stalled monsoon over Central India for a large number of days did not allow farmers to begin sowing operations early, he added.

Last year, monsoon had 8.5 per cent deficit in June but a 12.6 per cent surplus in July. However, the record 36 per cent deficient rainfall in August dragged down the yield of many crops in states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The government has fixed the target of foodgrains (rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals) at 159.97 mt for Kharif season, 164 mt for Rabi season and 16.43 mt for Zaid (summer) season.


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