The monsoon rain delay threatens India’s vast agricultural sector and jeopardizes the economic recovery from a coronavirus pandemic.
Farmers in fertile northern and central states, such as Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, are worried about rain waiting after the monsoon rise to the Indian subcontinent has stagnated.
Kedar Sirohi, leader of Aam Kisan Union or Common Farmers’ Union in Madhya Pradesh, said:
He said farmers in his state with limited irrigation facilities had planted soybeans, cotton, sorghum and pulse crops almost three weeks ago, but the saplings had died. “We need heavy rain within four or five days, or we’ll lose 30 to 40 percent of our production,” he added.
Half of India’s population of 1.4 billion depends on agriculture, and monsoons are essential not only for their lives, but also for the wider economy. The first prediction of a good rainy season from June to September is Miserable second wave Of a pandemic.
After the economy shrank 7.3% in 2020, the IMF predicted in April that it would grow 12.5% this year.But the prediction is Significant reduction Since the recent surge in Covid.
Some parts of the country have received sufficient or even heavy rain, but the strips of central and northern India remain dry. Punjab, one of the country’s largest producers of rice and other staple foods, has little rain.
The Indian Meteorological Department expects rain in these areas to begin soon. However, Giriraj Amarnath, a researcher at the International Water Management Institute, said yields would decline with further delays.
“This will certainly have an impact on the economy,” he said. “Production, pricing, and export of these crops … From there, they spill over through the value chain.”
Monsoons supply more than two-thirds of India’s rain. According to the World Bank, as of 2015, less than 40% of India’s agricultural land was irrigated, the latest figures are available and the rest depends solely on rain.
“It’s an uneasy time for farmers,” admitted Bharat Krishak Samaji or Ajay Bill Jacquart, chair of the Indian Farmers Forum. He estimated that the monsoon was running one week to ten days late.
“Irrigation water cannot completely supplement rainwater,” he said, adding that farmers would probably plant fewer crops.
“We need water in the soil and air. It’s the entire ecosystem. When water falls from the sky, it helps plants unlike when water is given from the ground.”
Scientists warn that climate change will destabilize the monsoon and have serious consequences for hundreds of millions of people who depend on it. According to a survey by the Indian government, extreme events such as heavy rains, floods and droughts are increasing.
This makes South Asia “very vulnerable compared to the rest of the world,” said Avantika Goswami, a non-profit center for science and environment.
Last year’s good monsoon season was essential to India’s survival. Historical economic contraction It followed a strict blockade for several months.
A good harvest provided employment for returning migrants who lost their jobs in the city and stimulated all consumption from motorcycle For consumer goods.