Normal monsoon, good rain distribution expected: IMD
In a major relief to farmers in general and the government in particular, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted better monsoon for this year, which means farmers would have a productive kharif season.
According to the country's official forecaster, the year will witness a normal monsoon and distribution of rainfall would be very good throughout the country.
"The rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2017 southwest monsoon season, which is June to September, is most likely to be from 96 per cent to 104 per cent of long period average (LPA)," said IMD Director General KG Ramesh, while releasing the second stage forecast of Southwest monsoon.
The IMD has also predicted the onset of monsoon in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal by June 13-14, while the residents of the national capital would have to wait till June end for the monsoon showers.
In its region wise weather forecast, the IMD has predicted that the rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of LPA over North-West India, while 100 per cent of LPA over Central parts of the country and 99 per cent of LPA over South Peninsula. The North-Eastern parts would have 96 per cent of LPA with a model error of ± 8 per cent.
"The monthly rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be 96 per cent of its LPA during July and 99 per cent of LPA during August with a model error of ± 9 per cent," Ramesh said.
Ramesh has also cautioned against El Niño, which may hit the speed of the monsoon in the second half of the season, but it would be weak and would not affect the rainfall distribution.
"This year's monsoon would be strong enough and the probability of El Nino factor disturbing monsoon is very less. The IMD is also foreseeing the development of positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which is mostly linked with good monsoon rains," he said.
Commenting on the monsoon, Ganesh Nanote, a farmer from Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, said, "Predictions of good rainfall is a blessing of the god for poor farmers. Most of the farmers are completely dependent on monsoon rainfall, so good monsoon would result in a better harvest."
Pinning hope on IMD predictions, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, "As like people of the country, the rain god has also come out in support of our government. Good monsoon result into a bumper production of kharif crops and doubling farmers' income."
However, a private weather forecaster has maintained its monsoon 2017 prediction which is marginally below normal at 95 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5%) of LPA. According to the private forecaster, the country's wide rainfall for the July stands at 94 per cent, while for August it is 93 per cent, which indicates that first half of monsoon is likely to better than the second half.