Pune: Marathwada has experienced 22 per cent deficient rainfall this monsoon season. As per the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) district-level rainfall data, of 35 districts in Maharashtra, 13 districts received below normal rainfall. Most of these districts are from the Marathwada subdivision. All other three subdivisions i.e. central Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa and Vidarbha, have received normal rainfall as indicated in the long-range forecast of the IMD.
In the Performance Evaluation of Monsoon - 2018 over Maharashtra issued by IMD Pune, the southwest monsoon season i.e. between June and September 2018 ended with an overall deficiency of 9 per cent for the country as a whole. This all-India deficiency is mainly attributed to the very large rainfall deficiency observed over northeast India, which was recorded to be 24 pc.
However, IMD officials said over northwest India, central India and south peninsula, the realised seasonal rainfall distribution was satisfactory.
Dr AK Srivastava, Head of Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group, said the long-range forecast for northwest India, central India and southern peninsula was however found to be within the model prediction error ranges.
“It is to clarify that the operational long-range forecast is only issued for India as a whole and for four broad homogeneous areas of the country as presented above. No state-level or district-level forecasts are issued as part of the long-range forecast as not sufficient skills exists presently. Maharashtra, which falls under the central India of the long-range forecast assessments, has received seasonal rainfall within the normal range,” said Srivastava.
Impact on the crop
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Kripan Ghosh, scientist E, Head, Agrimet from the IMD, said the Marathwada region has had an adverse impact on agriculture but other regions have had normal rainfall.
“In regions of Marathwada, crops are affected in pockets. Cotton, after second peaking, requires soil moisture. Hence, not many farmers suffered a loss. In Parbhani and other areas, there is not much problem. Overall, the condition is okay. Soybean has been in the harvesting season,” said Ghosh.
He added sugarcane is a 10 months crop and most farmers depend on the irrigation system for the crop. So, it is not fully depended on monsoon rainfall.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Vijay Ghawate, Director, Extension and Training, Agriculture Department of the State government, said many farmers in western Maharashtra, as well as Marathwada, have not started sowing rabi crops yet.
“As there is not sufficient rainfall, many farmers have refrained from sowing the rabi crop. We have so far seen this in 200 talukas that crop sowing is comparatively less. Moreover, sugarcane plantations are mostly using dam water for irrigation. Right now, dam water storage in western Maharashtra is good. However, in Marathwada, the scenario may change, where water will be scarce. Hence, for the time being, farmers need not worry. Currently, the ground survey by the State government is preparing a detailed report of the condition in the State,” said Ghawate.