The annual monsoon, a lifeline for Indian agriculture, commenced in 2023 with a noticeable deficit, causing apprehension among experts and farmers alike. The monsoon season typically spans from June to September. It is crucial for replenishing water reservoirs and ensuring optimal growth of Kharif crops, but this year, the onset has been marked by a 37% shortfall below the long-period average (LPA).
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), large portions of the country have already experienced “deficient” and “large deficient” rainfall in the initial fortnight of June. The “deficient” areas received rainfall 20% to 59% below the LPA, indicating substantial shortfalls. Reports suggest a delay in the sowing of Kharif crops compared to the previous year, although the situation still needs to be alarming. The agricultural season also witnessed delays in the rabi harvest.
However, keeping the current scenario in mind, below are a few things that could help farmers deal with the situation.
- Select Drought-Resistant & Weather-Resistant Crop Varieties: Utilizing crop varieties that are specifically bred to withstand adverse weather conditions, including drought-tolerant varieties, can increase the chances of a successful harvest.
- Water Conservation Techniques: Water conservation techniques are essential to maximise available water resources. E.g., mulching, drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and using water-efficient irrigation systems.
- Intercropping and Mixed Cropping: Intercropping and Mixed Cropping can help mitigate the risk of failure for any single crop, as some may be more resilient to water shortages than others.
- Efficient Land Preparation: Proper land preparation, including soil testing and organic matter incorporation, can enhance the soil’s water-holding capacity. Well-prepared soil enables better retention of moisture, even during a delayed monsoon.
- Access to Weather Information: Farmers should stay informed about weather forecasts and monsoon predictions through agricultural extension services or mobile apps. agribazaar’s weather forecast tool allows them to plan their agricultural activities accordingly.
- Financial Planning: Farmers should have financial plans to access credit or subsidies to manage their farming operations and mitigate the impacts of a poor harvest. agribazaar offers financial assistance like commodity loans, capital loans, credit facilities & much more to farmers during such times.
The delayed monsoon and the initial deficit in 2023 have raised concerns about the potential impact on India’s agricultural sector and the rural economy. Though worrisome, the shortfall in June’s rainfall does not necessarily indicate a dire outlook for the entire monsoon season.
However, agribazaar follows a proactive approach that combines modern agricultural practices with traditional wisdom can help Indian farmers better cope with a delay in the monsoon and safeguard their livelihoods amidst changing weather patterns. The Crop Calendar feature can help the farmers to plan the kinds of crops and when they can sow.