At a time when the economy remains fragile and the country is battling a second Covid-19 wave, the India Meteorological Department has forecast a “normal” monsoon — good news for the farm sector and one which will ease concerns over rising food inflation.
Plentiful monsoon rainfall during June-September period is essential not just for the rural sector but the broader economy as well as it fuels demands and prevents agrarian distress. Last year too, the farm sector escaped the brunt of the pandemic and was an important factor in faster-than-expected recovery in the last two quarters of FY21. A couple of days ago, private forecaster Skymet also predicted a normal monsoon.
The IMD’s forecast points to the 2021 monsoon being the third consecutive year (2019-2021) of good rainfall. India earlier had three consecutive years of ‘normal’ or ‘good rainfall’ in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
For first time at this stage, IMD released a map, showing a state-wise probability of monsoon’s status and a month-wise forecast from May.
Though it suggested a higher probability of either ‘normal’ or ‘above normal’ rainfall over most parts of India, its initial forecast shows ‘below normal’ rainfall in east and northeast, which includes Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, north Chhattisgarh, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Assam.