Agriculture

Monsoon enters deficit phase

India receives its highest share of rainfall in July, making it critical for farmers

 
Last Updated: Wednesday 08 July 2015

Monsoon enters deficit phase

With the forecast of deficient rainfall in July and August, fears of another monsoon failure haunt India’s farmers
Historically, a deficit monsoon in July invariably leads to drought
Author: Richard Mahapatra
There is some perceived good news about the monsoon as it completes one quarter of its four-month season. The country has received 24 per cent above average rainfall for this month. Though it arrived five days late, it covered the entire country in less than two weeks. Heavy showers and rising prices have prompted farmers to increase planting of pulses by 80 per cent compared to last year, while oilseed planting has jumped fivefold from 2014, latest data from the agriculture ministry shows.
 
The agrarian crisis has reached the tipping point, beyond which it will hit the national economy
Recurrent droughts perpetuate poverty. More so in a country that is predominantly rural, with 60 per cent of the population relying directly on farming, and nearly two-thirds of fields fed only by rain. The consecutive crop failures, due to too much and too little rain, have already pulled down the agricultural growth rate to 0.2 per cent, from 3.7 per cent in 2013-14. Food prices have started to creep up. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said agriculture has become a sector of concern. But this is not a recent phenomenon.
 
After weak summer monsoons and untimely winter rains in the past three years, a failed monsoon this year could mean the sixth consecutive crop failure in most parts of the country
Author: Richard Mahapatra, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Jitendra, Jyotsna Singh
"I was unable to fathom his agony when he consumed pesticide last year; this year I might follow in his footsteps,"says Rahul Athole of Talavada village in Maharashtra’s Beed district as he recounts the events that forced his elder brother, Sahibrao, to take his life.
 
As per government documents, the current year's progress report on MGNREGA shows that around 33,000 structures have been completed and work on around 1.1 million structures is still on
Author: Jitendra
After the Centre's ambitious target of constructing one toilet per second to spruce up rural development failed, it has come up with another 'impractical' target. Now, the NDA government plans to construct 42 water harvesting structures every hour under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
 
 

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