Importance of rainfall is very important for agriculture as well as farmers. Hence, after the lack of rain in June, July and August, the rainfall in September is called Amrit Sanjivani by the farmers.
Rainfall is essential for crop growth, as it provides the water plants need to absorb nutrients and grow. However, lack of rain in August has forced farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh to use groundwater to keep their crops alive. Consequently, the rains in September have been dubbed “Amrit Sanjivani“By a local farmer.
In June, rainfall was deficient by 10.1% due to erratic monsoon patterns causing concern for agriculture. However, relief came in July with 12.6% above average rainfall, which benefited Kharif crop cultivation. August, the driest since 1901, saw an alarming 36.2 percent rainfall deficit, causing severe moisture stress in already planted crops. Normally, July and August provide enough monsoon rains for crops, but this year, farmers depended on dam releases and groundwater. In major reservoirs, the water level decreased by 25.9% till September 6 compared to last year. Fortunately, September’s 18.7% additional rainfall improved the situation, raising the water level to 126.463 BCM, though still below last year’s level.
The September rains have proved highly beneficial for oilseed crops, especially soybeans and groundnuts, which are ready for harvest by the end of the month. Earlier, the Indore-based Soybean Processors Association of India had issued a warning on August 29, saying that the absence of immediate rains would adversely affect the crop and reduce yields. However, the timely arrival of monsoon has apparently averted this possibility.
A decent kharif crop, coupled with record imports, is expected to allay any concerns about inflation in vegetable oil prices. India’s edible oil imports are on track to cross 16.5 million tonnes by the end of October 2023, surpassing the previous record of 15.1 million tonnes set in 2016-17. Crude palm oil import prices fell to around $860 a tonne from an average of $945 in July, while soybean prices fell to $990 from an average of $1,085, and sunflower Oil prices have fallen below $1,000 to $885.
Inflationary pressures have also eased in the vegetable sector, as reflected by sharp increases in consumer price index for vegetables in July (37.4% year-on-year) and August (26.1%). These high inflation rates are expected to come down significantly this month.
First Published: 25 September 2023, 12:15 IST
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