Monsoon is expected to be normal in June boosting sowing of kharif crops but there are concerns about pick up in rainfall in the next month, a top India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said on Thursday.
"Total rainfall in June is likely to be normal encouraging sowing activity. The sowing of kharif (summer) crops will gather pace in the coming days," IMD Director General L S Rathore told reporters after the launch of free SMS service to farmers on extreme weather conditions in New Delhi.
Asked how rains will progress in the next month, he said, "As of now, there are concerns about rainfall pick up in the next month. Let's see how monsoon will improve."
He further said rainfall in July is crucial for achieving good production, "Once sowing is completed, distribution of rainfall is very important for crop growth."
Rainfall, as of today is 11 per cent more than the average.
IMD has warned that South-West monsoon rainfall will be weaker in July, when it is expected to be 92 per cent of the long-period average, and in August, when it will be 90 per cent.
So far, farmers in irrigated areas have started sowing.
The progress in monsoon will help sowing to gather pace in rainfed areas.
Till last week of the kharif season, farmers have sown various crops like paddy in 75.10 lakh hectares compared with 82.27 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, as per the Agriculture Ministry's data.
The sowing of kharif crops begin with the onset of south west monsoon from June.
Agriculture, which contributes 15 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but employs about 60 per cent of population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.