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Monsoon takes a break: Experts discuss concerns over agri output

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Monsoon takes a break: Experts discuss concerns over agri output

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Will September wash away India’s drought concerns and how will the nation’s crops be affected by the deficit? Siraj Hussain, Former Agriculture Secretary, Devinder Sharma, Agri Economist and GP Sharma, President of Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet discussed the concerns

The end of last week saw the Southwest monsoon return in full force, even turning deficits into surplus in Delhi. However, this revival seems to be short-lived according to the India Meteorological Department. The IMD said that the rainfall is likely to weaken again this week.
This season of the deluge has seen two breaks that have created a shortfall of 8 percent until now. A continued deficit in the season's final month September could spell trouble for the nation’s crop with areas like Gujarat already facing a serious deficit. IMD’s RK Jenamani said that scanty rainfall is expected over the next few days ensuring that August cannot make up for the deficit so far.
Will September wash away India’s drought concerns and how will the nation’s crops be affected by the deficit? Siraj Hussain, Former Agriculture Secretary, Devinder Sharma, Agri Economist and GP Sharma, President of Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet discussed this further.
“I think sowing numbers do not completely reflect the stress the farmers have been facing especially in the green revolution states of Punjab, Haryana, Western UP etc. where they do have facilities for irrigation but the rainfall has been so deficient in the month of August that they would be spending a lot of money on diesel to irrigate their paddy crops,” said Hussain.
“If we see only the August data, we find that most of the sub-divisions in India have had deficient rainfall. This will have an impact on several crops,” he added.
“Sowing of May was hampered when the breakup happened in July and one has not been able to resow because resowing means the additional cost incurred by the farmers. This has happened to a lot of farmers in this part of the region – north-western, the lower Himachal region adjoining Punjab and the deficit has definitely hit farmers. it should be worrying – this is the time when the seeds have to set in and any deficit at this point of time would be affecting the productivity in the days to come that we are going to witness,” said Devinder Sharma.
“Very little rainfall is expected over the next two-three days. Little pickup will be there towards the fag-end of the month because again a system will form but that will not be good enough to catch up anywhere. Even if it sustains at about 8-9 percent deficiency in the month of August, pan-India deficiency is going to be there. I don’t think it is going to recover much. The month of September we have to watch out. It is going to be below normal,” Skymet’s Sharma mentioned.
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video.
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