Major spell in Sept second week likely to help tide over deficit; but might not help
Poor rainfall across the state during the month of August – the main rainy month in central India – has left half of Madhya Pradesh districts rain deficient, making farmers worried.
Though the Met office has predicted a spell of heavy showers in the second week of September, this might be too late to save the crops as the Kharif season is now well advanced.
While the state is 16 per cent rain deficient overall as on September 1, at least 26 of the 52 districts have received over 20 per cent deficient rain, and nine of them including capital Bhopal are over 30 per cent deficient, data released by the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Bhopal, shows.
The state has received an average of 662 mms of rainfall between June 1 and September 1, while the normal rainfall in this period should have been 791.7 mm.
The situation has developed because during the month of August, the state, on average, received as much as 40 per cent less rainfall than expected; with 28 districts reporting between 40 to 94 per cent of deficit, the data shows.
In August, the state should have received an average 334.2 mm of rainfall but managed to have only 201.7 mm given the fact that only about eight properly rainy days were recorded during the month. Districts like Shajapur and Neemuch received 94 and 90 per cent deficit rainfall. Five more districts—Khandwa (-85pc), Mandsaur and Ujjain (-84 pc), Agar-Malwa (-84 pc) and Rajgarh (-80 pc)— are among the worst hit.
This rainfall situation is very detrimental for the Kharif crops in the state, including rice, soybean, maize, jowar, groundnut and pulses.
Farmers are already very anxious about the situation and the Met office has added to the worry by predicting practically no rainfall over the next one week.
State unit chief of the Congress Kamal Nath, who was in Neemuch to hold a public meeting on Friday, took up the issue of deficient rainfall and its impact on the crops. “It is a matter of worry that due to deficit rainfall, crops like soybean and maize have been damaged in Neemuch and other parts of the state, but the state government is not paying attention to the situation. This area of the state is agriculture-based and an impact on the economic condition of the farmers will adversely impact the economic activities in the entire region and the state,” Nath said at a press conference.
He demanded from the state government that the farmers should be paid immediate compensation to tide over the situation. He mentioned that only 15-20 per cent of the farmers get crop insurance money because of a scam being undertaken in connivance with insurance companies.
Nath also mentioned that when he was the chief minister, farmers of the area were paid compensation for crop damage due to heavy rain within seven days. He promised that if the BJP government failed to compensate the farmers, the Congress will resolve the issue as soon as its government is formed (following assembly polls).
‘Heavy rain likely from 7-14 Sept’
The Met office has predicted a major spell of rainfall between September 7 and 17 in most parts of the state under impact of a low pressure area that is likely to develop over northern Bay of Bengal over the Odisha and West Bengal coasts.
Senior scientist with RMC, Bhopal, Ved Prakash Singh told THE WEEK that the current dry spell will continue up to September 6, and from September 7 rainfall will start in eastern Madhya Pradesh – mainly Rewa, Shahdol, Jabalpur and Sagar divisions. From September 9, the rainfall will extend to western MP too with districts of Gwalior, Chambal, Bhopal, Inodre, Ujjain and Narmadapuram (Hoshangabad) covered.
“We are expecting that between September 7 and 14, every district in the state should receive an average 20 to 25 mm of rainfall. This should wipe out the overall deficit in the state and the sub-division level deficit. However, some districts like Mandsaur, Dhar, Khandwa, Khargone, Rewa, Sidhi, Singrauli, Guna, Ashoknagar might not be able to recover,” Singh said.
Madhya Pradesh – 16 pc
East MP – 13 pc
West MP – 20 pc
Satna – 45 pc
Ashoknagar – 40 pc
Mandsaur – 39 pc
Khargone – 37 pc
Bhopal – 36 pc
Khandwa – 35 pc
Sidhi – 34 pc
Guna – 32 pc
Shajapur – 30 pc