South Asian monsoon brings cheer to India’s farmers

The seasonal rains have been above average, but there are always winners and losers.

    As torrential rain falls across parts of both northwestern and northeastern India, the Indian Meteorological Department has announced that July’s rainfall was 7 percent above the long-term average.

    This is in keeping with pre-monsoon predictions of an above-average season, and will be welcomed by the county’s agriculture industry, which employs half of the country’s workforce.

    Inevitably, there were significant geographical variations in rainfall. Central India was 18 percent above average, while South Peninsula, encompassing Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, was 12 percent below average.

    Across the Punjab and Haryana states, the so-called "bread basket of India", the benefit of a 9 percent rainfall surplus was sure to be appreciated.

    In neighbouring Pakistan, rainfall for the period from July 1 to  August 10 was 9 percent below average across the country as a whole. Here, geographical variations were even greater. There was a particularly marked rainfall deficit in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, by around one third. Some parts of these states saw virtually no rainfall at all during this period.

    In the coming days, there is little prospect of that deficit being eroded. Most of the country’s rainfall is expected to be confined to northern areas.

    In India, there are two areas of low pressure. One is expected to bring further heavy rain to northwestern India, although it is possible that, in parts of Rajasthan, the rain may do more harm than good.

    Another area of low pressure located at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal, may develop into a tropical cyclone. Either way, the heavy rain generated by this system will help to alleviate the slight rainfall deficit across eastern and northeastern India, as well as in Bangladesh.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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