Here is how slow monsoons might make your daal and roti costly

  • The erratic monsoon along with water crisis and floods across the country has hit the Kharif crops badly.
  • According to the IMD forecast, India is going to receive below normal rainfall this year.
  • The affected crops would be rice, food grains, oilseeds, and pulses, as their plantation are significantly low.
This year, the monsoons were thought to be too little, too late. It might not be too little as the monsoon could be termed normal in August, expects The India Meteorological Department.

Yet, the damage is already done.

The erratic monsoon along with water crisis and floods across the country, has hit the Kharif crops badly.

According to the IMD forecast, India is going to receive below than normal rainfall this year. In fact, the monsoon started with a delay of a week. However, it was above 4.6% normal in July. Most parts received more than 42% rainfall than normal in the last seven days of July.

The affected crops would be rice, food grains, oilseeds, and pulses, as their plantation are significantly low. Farmers could sow only around 304 lakh hectares of total foodgrains up to 19 July. This is 57 lakh hectare lower than the corresponding week. As of now, India is staring at high food inflation.

“The retail inflation in the food components for June 2019 has risen to 13-months high and weak progress going ahead could push food inflation higher. Also, wholesale food inflation (YoY) for June 2019 continues to remain high at close to 7%,” according to Credit Rating Agency, CARE.

But there are a few chances of a turnaround. The southwest monsoon, which is below last year's average, has started picking up. Farmers are now staring eagerly at the skies to plant their kharif crops albeit late, if there is a good spell of rain.

Monsoon is a key driver of agriculture in India, as it depends on it for water needs. India's monsoon accounts for 70% of the annual rainfall. This year, the rains were 19% lower than the average rainfall of 384.7 mm during the same period last year.

The government is doing its part to support farmers. It is increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for notified Kharif crops.

Pulsating effect

The possibility of increased food inflation couldn’t have come at a bad time. Last week, the wholesale prices of pulses have gone up by 4-5%. The retail market will remain unaffected so far.

The Food Ministry has created a buffer stock of 'arhar' ('tur' or pigeon pea) of 14 lakh tonnes. While the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has stored 20 lakh tonnes, which is a key part of India’s ‘square meals’.

The government also increased the minimum support price of Tur dal by Rs 125 to Rs 5,800 per quintal in the first week of July. Similarly, the guaranteed remuneration for 'moong' and 'urad' was hiked also hiked by ₹75 to Rs 7,050 per quintal and by Rs 100 to Rs 5,700 per quintal, respectively.

See also:
India monsoon rains seen below normal this year: Skymet
India's monsoon rains 35% below average this week - weather office
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