Poor south west monsoon rainfall sours hope for good foodgrain output

Poor south west monsoon rainfall sours hope for good foodgrain output


The phenomenal growth in foodgrain production witnessed in the 2016-17 crop year will not repeat this year. Early prediction by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare shows that the kharif foodgrain production in 2017-18 may likely to fall by 2.8 percent as compared that in the previous year.

The kharif foodgrain production is expected to decline from 138.5 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 134.7 million tonnes in 2017-18. Readers may note that the kharif foodgrain production in 2016-17 increased by 10.7 percent as compared to that in 2015-16.  

The chart-1 clearly shows that the total rainfall received by the country as a whole during the south west monsoon season (June-September) as a percentage of long period average (LPA) declined by almost 2 percentage points between 2016 and 2017, which is likely to have caused a decline in foodgrain output in the kharif season.    

Chart 1 Kharif foodgrain production (in million tonnes) and south west monsoon rainfall as a percentage of LPA in various years
 
Source: First Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2017-18, released on 22 September, 2017, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, please click here to access

Various reports of the India Meteorological Department (IMD)


Note: Kharif foodgrain productions in 2016-17 and 2017-18 are based on Fourth Advance Estimates for 2016-17 and First Advance Estimates for 2017-18 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, respectively

As per the Central Water Commission, as on 28 September, 2017, live storage available in the 91 reservoirs of the country was 103.429 billion cubic meters (BCM), whereas during last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 116.590 BCM. This corroborates the fact that the country has received lesser south west monsoon rainfall in 2017-18 as compared to the previous year.

Production of various crops

The first advance estimates pertaining to kharif foodgrain production for 2017-18 by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare indicates that rice production is likely to decline by 2.0 percent between 2016-17 and 2017-18 to reach 94.5 million tonnes. Please see table-1.

Similarly, pulses production is anticipated to fall by 7.5 percent between 2016-17 and 2017-18 to reach 8.7 million tonnes.

Coarse cereals output and oilseeds production are likely to reduce by 3.7 percent and 7.7 percent between 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively.

Table 1: Production of various kharif crops (in million tonnes)
 
Table 1 Production of various crops in kharif season
 
Source: First Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2017-18, released on 22 September, 2017, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, please click here to access

Note: Foodgrain production has been calculated by summing up production of rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals only


South west monsoon rainfall


A recent report by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) says that the highest south west rainfall (100 percent of LPA) was received by South Peninsula and the lowest rainfall (90 percent of LPA) was received by Northwest India. Central India and East & Northeast India have received south west monsoon rainfalls of 94 percent of LPA and 96 percent of LPA, respectively. Please consult chart-2.

Chart 2: South west monsoon rainfall in various parts of India in 2017-18
 
Chart 2 South west monsoon rainfall in various parts of India in 2017-18
 
Source: 2017 Southwest Monsoon End of Season Report, IMD, please click here to access

The document by the IMD entitled 2017 Southwest Monsoon End of Season Report says that out of the total 36 meteorological subdivisions, the south west rainfall was normal in 25 subdivisions (constituting 65 percent of the total area of the country) and excess in 5 subdivisions (18 percent of the total area of the country). However, the south west monsoon rainfall was deficient in 6 subdivisions constituting 17 percent of the total area of the country. Out of the 6 deficient subdivisions, 4 subdivisions were from Northwest India (West and East Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi) and 2 subdivisions were from the Central India (East Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha).

The IMD website shows that the monthly rainfall during the south west monsoon across the country as a whole was 104 percent of LPA in June, 102 percent of LPA in July, 87 percent of LPA in August, and 88 percent of LPA in September. It means that in the later months, south west monsoon rainfall remained inadequate vis-à-vis normal rainfall. In order to get an idea about the trend in south west monsoon rainfall over the months this year, please check chart-3.

Chart 3: Distribution of Cumulative Rainfall from 1 June, 2017 to 30 September, 2017

 
Chart 3 Distribution of Cumulative Rainfall 1 June 2017 to 30 Sep 2017

Source: IMD website, http://www.imd.gov.in


References:

First Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2017-18, released on 22 September, 2017, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, please click here to access

2017 Southwest Monsoon End of Season Report, IMD, please click here to access

Live storage capacity of 91 reservoirs as on 28 September, 2017, Central Water Commission, please click here to access

Cropping seasons of India- Kharif & Rabi, Arthapedia, please click here to access 

Between 2013-14 & 2016-17, rabi foodgrain output likely to drop by 1 million tonne, News alert from Inclusive Media for Change dated 24 May, 2017, please click here to access 

Bumper Foodgrain Output Expected In 2016-17 But Production During Rabi May Be Lower Vis-a-vis 2013-14, News alert from Inclusive Media for Change, 17 February, 2017, please click here to access 

Acreage under rabi crops declined in 2016-17 as compared to 2013-14, News alert from Inclusive Media for Change, 25 January, 2017, please click here to access 

2016 Southwest Monsoon end of season report, India Meteorological Department, please click here to access

2015 Southwest Monsoon end of season report, India Meteorological Department, please click here to access

2014 Southwest Monsoon end of season report for the state of Uttar Pradesh, India Meteorological Department, please click here to access

2013 Southwest Monsoon end of season report, India Meteorological Department, please click here to access

2012 Southwest Monsoon end of season report, India Meteorological Department, please click here to access

Monsoon in India: Country feels the pinch as rainfall 5 pct less than normal, The Financial Express, 7 October, 2017, please click here to access 

South-west monsoon deficit could worsen farm distress -Sayantan Bera, Livemint.com, 17 August, 2017, please click here to access 
 
 
Image Courtesy: Inclusive Media for Change/ Shambhu Ghatak

   




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