Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Why the monsoon is so crucial for India, PM Modi

Why the monsoon is so crucial for India, PM Modi

According to the IMD's classification, monsoon is considered normal when average rainfall lies between 96% and 104% of the LPA.

Private weather forecaster Skymet Weather on April 4 said India is going to experience normal Monsoon in 2018.

Mumbai: India's monsoon rains are likely to be 97 percent of their long-term average in 2018, its meteorological department said on Monday, reassuring farmers ahead of summer planting in a country where only half of the farmland is irrigated. Monsoon rainfall provides 75 per cent of annual rainfall to the country. A key point to note is that the first monsoon forecast for 2018 is slightly better than IMD's first one a year ago. The LPA of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 cm and it's a kind of yardstick to arrive at calculating the rainfall level during monsoon.

A figure between 96 to 104 percent is considered normal monsoon.

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For good farm output, the rains have to be not just normal but also evenly spread across states.

Last year's rainfall was 95 percent of the average, falling under the weather department's definition of a below normal monsoon.

India is expected to witness a normal monsoon which could bring in a major relief to the Government and millions of farmers.

Last year, some southern states were hit by drought despite a normal monsoon because the rains were not evenly distributed. "We'll come out with the next assessment on May 15 about the onset of monsoon over Kerala", he added.

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This year's forecast comes amid reports of growing farm distress across the country.

The monsoon will be 97 per cent of long period average, which is normal for the season, IMD Director General K G Ramesh told a press conference. A moderate La Nina condition had developed in the equatorial Pacific during previous year.

Getting a good monsoon this year will be crucial for the government as it will begin its campaign for the 2019 election. "Neutral La Nina is not detrimental for the Monsoon", Ramesh said. The latest forecasts from Indian and global models indicate that in it will go away before the beginning of the season.

Below normal monsoon, on the other hand, can negatively impact agricultural and related sectors like fertilisers, agro products, farming equipment (tractors). Foodgrain production in FY18 is likely to have grown by 1% and another season of favourable monsoons is likely to be positive for rural sentiments.

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