Post-monsoon rainfall deficit could worsen drought conditions, say agriculture experts

According to IMD data, the post-monsoon deficit rainfall in the northwest regions of India was 45 per cent; in central India it was 51 per cent; southern peninsula (36 per cent) and 51 per cent in East and North East.
In Maharashtra, Vidarbha reported 88 per cent post-monsoon rainfall deficiency, which is the highest in the state.(HT representational photo)
In Maharashtra, Vidarbha reported 88 per cent post-monsoon rainfall deficiency, which is the highest in the state.(HT representational photo)
Updated on Jan 06, 2019 02:30 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByShrinivas Deshpande

Agricultural experts from Maharashtra have expressed concern over the 44 per cent deficit rainfall in the post-monsoon period during October to December 2018, as reported by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Ramchandra Sable, agro-meteorologist and DM More, secretary of the second Maharashtra Irrigation Commission, have expressed concerns saying that this could create alarming conditions for drought-affected states like Maharashtra and Karnataka.

According to IMD data, the post-monsoon deficit rainfall in the northwest regions of India was 45 per cent; in central India it was 51 per cent; southern peninsula (36 per cent) and 51 per cent in East and North East.

In Maharashtra, Vidarbha reported 88 per cent post-monsoon rainfall deficiency, which is the highest in the state. Similarly, drought affected regions like Marathwada received 84 per cent less rainfall, followed by central Maharashtra at 64 per cent deficiency and Konkan and Goa at 56 per cent rainfall deficiency in the post-monsoon period.

Although DS Pai, IMD’s head for Climate Research and Services, said that this deficiency was normal for Maharashtra, Sable said that crops in the state are dependent on the monsoon rainfall and farmers who sowed in August were happy when it rained in October. However, rabi crops will be affected due to the post-monsoon deficiency in rainfall.

Sable is former head of department of Agricultural Meteorology at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), Rahuri and former associate dean at the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Pune. He had developed a rainfall forecasting model for which he had received a national patent, and has been providing rainfall forecast and agro-advisory for the past 15 years.

More was also in agreement that the post-monsoon 44 per cent deficiency of rainfall will hit many parts of the country, specifically Maharashtra and adjoining states which are already facing severe drought conditions.

“This may affect the rabi production and farmers cannot wait till the next showers. They should shift to less water-intensive crops,” he said.

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