Expect overall good Monsoon this year: Weatherman

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 18:01

New Delhi: In what could be good news for
millions of farmers, the weatherman Wednesday said India could
experience good Monsoon this season after a year of drought
that resulted in the loss of 16 million tonnes of foodgrain.

"Overall we expect good Monsoon this year," Ajit Tyagi,
Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here.

Tyagi met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who reviewed
the Monsoon situation in the country against the backdrop of
cyclone `Phet` threatening the progress of the annual rain
season.

Experts here believe that the severe cyclone churning up
the Arabian Sea could have little effect on the Monsoon as
they forecast building up of weather patterns favourable to
the annual rains.

"We expect normal Monsoon with 98 per cent (of the long
period average of 89 cm) as projected earlier. There is no
change," Tyagi said when asked about the rainfall this season.

The seasonal rains hit Kerala on May 31, as forecast by
the IMD. As an effect of the cyclone, Monsoon is expected to
cover coastal parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra while
the interior parts of the peninsula are expected to receive
Monsoon rains in the next spell.

"Rainfall will pick up in Kerala from June 5 onwards,"
he said.

Agriculture Secretary P K Basu said that the Monsoon has
stopped in the tracks due to Cyclone Phet which is expected to
have landfall in coastal Pakistan and adjoining Gujarat
Friday.

"Monsoon is seen progressing from June 5 towards
Karnataka. South-west Monsoon has paused due to cyclone. There
is no cause of concern as of now rains are good," Basu said.

Monsoon rains, considered the lifeline of Indian
agriculture that powers the trillion-dollar economy. It is
vital for kharif crops such as paddy, sugarcane, oilseeds and
pulses.

Last year, almost half of the country faced severe
drought due to failure of Monsoon. As a result, India`s
foodgrain production declined to 218.19 million tonnes in
2009-10 crop year from record 234.47 million tonne in the
previous year.

In April, the IMD had forecast normal Monsoon rains for
the season beginning June 1.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 18:01

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