Monsoon may hit Kerala on June 1
Monsoon is expected to arrive on time this year, hitting Kerala on June 1, but rains may remain below normal, prompting the government to put in place a contingency plan and push crop insurance for farmers.
The contingency plan would cover as many as 580 districts that may witness monsoon deficit, while the Agriculture Ministry is also mulling over steps to popularise crop insurance schemes among thefarming community.
“The onset of monsoon looks normal. An error window of 2-3 days can be taken. As of now, there is no delay in arrival of rain. However, monsoon is expected to be below normal due to El Nino factor,” a senior IMD official said. The timely onset of south-west monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops like paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit the rice output.
Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which hit production of grains, cotton and oilseeds.
After a poor monsoon in 2014, the untimely rains during March-April this year have already put farmers in distress and there have been quite a few cases of farmer suicides.
Preparing for below-average rains, the Agriculture Ministry is working hard to minimise the impact of weak monsoon on kharif production especially rice and food inflation.