Healthy, well-spread rainfall raises hope amid Covid-19: CRISIL DRIP

For the country as whole, rains have been normal (or 0 per cent deviation from the long period average) as of August 8 this season
It has been pouring in most parts of the country  even as we enter the third month of the current southwest monsoon season. Healthy and well-spread rainfall this year raises hope amid the woes stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Never­theless, as the monsoon season progresses, select regions are experiencing a shortage in rainfall, while others have to deal with an abundance of it. 

For the country as whole, rains have been normal (or 0 per cent deviation from the long period average) as of August 8 this season.

Region-wise, rainfall continues to be relatively abundant in the southern peninsula (with rains at 20 per cent above normal), while it is normal in the east and northeast and central India (8 per cent above normal and 3 per cent below normal, respectively). In the northwest, though, rains have turned deficient (at 23 per cent below normal) since the last week of July. At the regional level, rains are considered normal if they are less than 20 per cent below or above normal. 

In the northwest among major kharif producers, Rajasthan is experiencing rainfall deficiency for the last three weeks, with the latest reading at 27 per cent below normal. In contrast, other than Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are seeing excess rains for nearly a month now.

Sowing is progressing at a healthy pace, though there is some moderation compared with the start of the season. As of August 7, sowing stood 10 per cent higher on-year and about 91 per cent of total kharif acreage had been covered. Sowing has progressed the fastest in rice and oilseeds (about 16-17 per cent higher on-year so far for both). This seeds hope that agriculture can help Indian economy from sinking too low this fiscal year. 

CRISIL’s Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter (DRIP) score for Rajasthan is both, higher on-year and higher than the last five-year average. 

In Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Odisha, rainfall remains within the ‘normal’ band, but rains have moderated somewhat in recent weeks. Given the relatively lower irrigation cover, their DRIP scores have risen to above average levels. In Gujarat, too, the DRIP score rose in the last week and is mildly higher than last year, but lower than the average of the last five years. Among crops, DRIP scores are high for bajra (Rajasthan, Gujarat, and MP  are producers), soybean (grown in MP, Rajasthan, and Odisha) and maize (MP and Rajasthan). In these states, scores are higher than both, last year and average of the past five years.

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