New Delhi: The monsoon rains posted it’s best weekly performance this year in the week ended 15 July. Above normal rainfall over central India, the west coast and Orissa together brought down the monsoon’s overall deficit to 27%. The rain deficit was nearly 54% on 30 June.
The weather office also forecast widespread rainfall in the next five days in most of India where at least two-thirds of the people live in villages and 60% of the farm land depends on the annual rains.
In the week to 15 July, the key soyabean-producing regions in central India as well as sugar cane, cotton and groundnut producing areas in western India received normal or excessive rains, data from the weather office showed.
Free fall: Rains in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. The weather office has forecast widespread rainfall in the next five days in most of India. Amit Dave / Reuters
But the rice bowl and sugar cane-producing hubs of northern India continued to suffer. Rains were inadequate in Uttar Pradesh, the top sugarcane producing state. Haryana and Punjab, where farmers have stepped up sowing of premium rice grades that need lesser water, also received meagre rain.
Moreover, key reservoirs, such as the Gobind Sagar in Himachal Pradesh, still stocked only half the water of their 10-year average.
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said crop sowing had accelerated in the past week as rainfall increased after the worst start to the annual monsoon season in at least 80 years. In rice-growing regions, transplantation had increased 76% in the past week.
(‘Reuters’ contributed to the story.)