There will be “above normal” monsoon this year, the Met office predicted on Tuesday, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two consecutive years of drought.
Releasing its monsoon forecast for the season, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said, “Monsoon will be 106% of the long period average (LPA). There is 94% probability that monsoon will be normal to excess this year. By and large, there will be fair distribution of monsoon across the country. But North-East India and South-East India, particularly Tamil Nadu, may get slightly less than normal rainfall.”
Drought-hit Marathwada is also likely to receive “good” rainfall, Rathore added. Anything less than 90% of the LPA is termed as a “deficient” monsoon and 90-96% of the LPA is considered as “below normal”. Monsoon is considered as “normal” if the LPA is between 96-104% of the LPA.
“Above normal” monsoon is between 104-110% of the LPA and anything beyond 110% of the LPA is considered as “excess”. Agriculture, which contributes 15% to India’s GDP and employs about 60% of the country’s population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Due to poor monsoon in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), 10 states have declared drought and the Centre has sanctioned relief package of about Rs 10,000 crore to help farmers.