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Early Monsoon Rains Sweeping Across India, Boosting Crop Sowing

With the monsoon finally making progress and the deficit gradually reducing, farmers can now begin their planting activities a week earlier than the usual schedule.

Shivam Dwivedi
Early Monsoon Rains Sweeping Across India, Boosting Crop Sowing (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Early Monsoon Rains Sweeping Across India, Boosting Crop Sowing (Photo Source: Pixabay)

India's monsoon season is finally making progress after a delayed onset caused by cyclone Biparjoy in the Arabian Sea, according to officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The recent revival of rains has allowed the country's monsoon to cover a larger portion of the country, bringing relief to farmers and reducing the rainfall deficit.

The monsoon season is of critical importance to India's economy, as it provides nearly 70 percent of the necessary rainfall for agricultural activities and helps replenish reservoirs and aquifers. Additionally, it offers respite from the scorching summer temperatures.

Traditionally, the monsoon begins in Kerala state, located on India's southwest coast, around June 1 and gradually progresses northwards to cover the entire country by July 8. However, this year's cyclone disrupted the usual pattern, causing a delay in the onset of monsoon rains and impeding their progress. Until recently, only about a third of the country had experienced monsoon showers.

Fortunately, the rain showers have resumed over the past few days and have already reached various regions, except for certain areas in the northern states of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana. IMD officials predict that the monsoon will cover these remaining parts of the country by the upcoming weekend.

As a result of the recent rainfall, the deficit for the June-September season has decreased to 23 percent from 33 percent just a week ago, according to IMD data. Furthermore, several northeastern, central, and northern states are expected to receive heavy rainfall this week, which should further reduce the deficit to below 20 percent, as stated by another IMD official.

The delayed onset of the monsoon had caused a delay in the planting of summer-sown crops such as paddy, cotton, soybean, and pulses. However, with the resumption of rains, the sowing activities are expected to gain momentum starting this week. A senior government official, who preferred to remain anonymous, provided this information.

Despite the initial delay and the presence of an El Nino weather pattern, the IMD has forecasted an average amount of rainfall for the entire four-month monsoon season. El Nino, characterized by the warming of the Pacific Ocean's sea surface, can result in severe droughts in Southeast Asia, India, and Australia.

In 2014 and 2015, the emergence of El Nino led to consecutive droughts, an occurrence that has happened only four times in over a century.

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