Strong monsoon: Loss or gain to Indian farmers?

India, experienced its heaviest monsoon rains in 25 years in 2019. Being one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers.

What went wrong with this monsoon?

Delayed onset of the monsoon had led to a 6.4 per cent decline in paddy sowing by August 22. Paddy accounts for a little over 30 per cent of kharif season acreage. But, the area under cotton and maize are supposed to be higher, as higher prices last year had encouraged farmers to sow more.

Moreover, kharif crop output is expected to effect due floods in Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra pradesh, besides weak rain in west Bengal and Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

Why is monsoon Important?

These Southwest monsoon is in full swing as it brings 75% of the rain to the country. These rains are critical to almost 60% of India’s rain-fed agriculture and the timely arrival and adequacy of monsoon winds plays a vital role in our farming practices.

Crops Affected

Soybean: Out of the 11.2 million hectares where soybean was sown in 2019, around 5.5 Mn ha was in MP. Due to rainfall in MP which was 44 per cent above normal so far. Between June 1 and September 30, there is a huge loss in soybean yield.

In the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya pradesh vegetables like Tomatoes and onions went rotten due to heavy rains.

India Being the world’s largest onion exporter, has recently banned onion exports to fulfill domestic demand leading to doubling of prices in Sri lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

As on 19 September 2019, paddy area under cultivation was 5.25% lower than 2018. In case of pulses and sugarcane, the area under cultivation was 2.41% and 3.06% lower than 2018, respectively.

India had a normal monsoon only once in the last 5 Years.

Only 2016 recorded normal rainfall with 97% of average rainfall.