37% districts short of rain despite average monsoon

After two consecutive droughts, India received average rainfall — 2 per cent less than the 100-year average — by the end of August 2016, but within that range, more than a third of the country is short of rain, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data. In 610 of 641 districts for which data is available, 389 districts received average or excess rain, while 221 received deficient or scanty rain in the first three months of the four-month-long monsoon season. This means September rainfall will now be important to make up for these widespread deficits.

The sowing of kharif crop was 5% more than the average by August-end because more than half of India’s districts received average rain, reiterated by the Reserve Bank of India in its 2015-16 annual report: “As on August 18, 2016, the cumulative rainfall was at its long period average (LPA) level as against 9% below LPA in the corresponding period of the previous year, leading to an increase of 6.5% in kharif sowing, thus far.”

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