Rains catch up, but key areas still face shortfall: CRISIL Drip index

Rainfall so far — in terms of both, timeliness and distribution — has undershot prediction. The onset of monsoon was delayed and the catch-up (up to July) has been slow. Some key crop-producing areas are still facing a shortfall that, coupled with weak irrigation, could lead to more stress. 

As of July 31, rainfall from the southwest monsoon was 9per cent below the long period average (LPA), which is within the normal bound. For rains to be deemed normal, they can be atmost 4per cent below normal. The last week saw a steep catch-up given that rains until July 24 were 19 per cent deficient. 

The brief period brought some relief to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which were witnessing a prolonged dry spell. 

What's worrying is that in several states, the picture is weak at the sub-regional level.

But just rainfall volume data does not tell the full story. We need to consider vulnerabilities due to inadequate irrigation for a comprehensive perspective on states and crops. 

Higher the CRISIL Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter (DRIP) score, more adverse the impact of deficient rains. 

The latest DRIP scores show higher-than-trend scores for Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are also in this list, given a delayed catch-up in rains. In Karnataka and MP, given weak sub-regional rainfall patterns, DRIP scores are higher on-year.

Among crops, DRIP scores are highest for groundnut and rice while others such as tur, maize, cotton, jowar and soybean will require monitoring as scores are higher on-year. 

DRIP scores show several states and crops grappling with deficient rains.

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