India is staring at a deficit of almost 28% in its monsoon rainfall between 1 June and 8 August, the first such shortfall in seven years. This has triggered fears of a drought among several state governments as well as the Centre, which is now preparing contingency plans to mitigate a possible shortfall in foodgrain production.
With only 40% of India’s agricultural land buffered by irrigation, poor rains almost always have an impact on the economy. That’s because India’s summer, or kharif, crop is heavily dependent on monsoon rains. In 2002-03, when monsoon rainfall was 19% below normal, kharif production fell 19.1%. In 2004-05, another year when the monsoon was scanty, kharif foodgrain production was 102.9 million tonnes, 9 million tonnes short of the previous year’s production. With at least 140 of India’s districts having been declared drought-hit, comparisons are inevitable with 2002, the last time India faced a drought.
Also See Impact of dismal rains on key states (Graphics)
Mint seeks to detail the impact of dismal rains on key states. For instance, some states such as Punjab and Haryana have reported only 30-40% of their normal rainfall but have been affected less due to well-developed irrigation facilities.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint