Business Today

Normal monsoon in 2015 may bring cheer to agriculture

Unlike last year, monsoon is forecast to be normal in 2015, auguring well for the economy. Rainfall was 12 per cent below normal in 2014.

Ajay Modi        Last Updated: May 18, 2015  | 17:12 IST
Normal monsoon in 2015 may bring cheer to agriculture
A report says that monsoon is likely to be normal in 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

The agriculture sector has been hit by the recent unseasonal rains and a deficient monsoon last year. But amidst the negative news flow, there seems to be a glimmer of hope. Unlike last year, monsoon is forecast to be normal in 2015, auguring well for the economy. Rainfall was 12 per cent below normal in 2014.

A joint report this week by industry body Assocham and weather forecaster Skymet says that monsoon is likely to be normal this year along with uniform rainfall distribution. The 12 per cent deficit last year had led to a seven per cent drop in kharif grain output. A bumper rabi harvest was expected to compensate for the shortfall but spells of unseasonal rain and hailstorm have done some damage. According to estimates by the government, the country's grain production is expected to decline by 3.2 per cent to 257.07 million tonnes in the 2014/15 crop year (July-June). In 2013/14, production had touched a  record 265.57 million tonnes.

The main rabi crops are wheat, pulses, oilseeds and rice. Rabi accounts for 51 per cent of the country's grain output. It is harvested in April and May, catering to the consumption demand till the kharif crop gets harvested in October.

The states that bore the brunt of unseasonal rains include Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Skymet expects another wet spell in north India in early April. It could cause further damage to crops.

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