New Delhi: The southwest monsoon rains have reached all parts of the country, the Indian Metrolgical Department said on Wednesday.
Adding to the good news is the reduction in deficiency in rains. It stood at 31% in the beginning of July and now has been reduced to 25%. The south-west monsoon had hit Kerala on June 5, but made slow progress affecting sowing of major Kharif crops such as paddy, pulses and coarse cereals.
IMD Director-General LS Rathore said that the good progress of monsoon has rekindled hope that it will match this year’s prediction - 96% of average.
The South West Monsoon covered the entire country with parts of North Gujarat and Rajasthan receiving heavy rains on Tuesday night.
With improvement in monsoon rains, Rathore noted that the planting of paddy, soybean and groundnut would pick up. He, however, pointed out that scanty rains in Karnataka and Maharashtra might affect coarse cereals.
Rathore was speaking to media after attending a meeting with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Food Minister K V Thomas to discuss the progress of monsoon.
"Rains will now shift to Himalayas, Terai and north east region. The 23 percent deficit in rains is likely to continue until next week," Rathore said.
So far, he said that some parts of Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and central Madhya Pradesh have received scanty rains.
India had produced a record 252.56 million tonnes of food grains in 2011-12 crop year (July-June) on good monsoon last year.
Monsoon rains are crucial for agriculture sector, which contributes about 15 per cent to the country`s GDP, as only 40 per cent of the total cultivable area is under irrigation.
On El Nino – a weather phenomenon which is believed to suppress cloud-building and precipitation over India - Rathore said that it may set in sometime in August.
With PTI inputs