Indian Monsoon : DeFacto Finance Minister of India!
While Finance Minister in New Delhi presents India’s finance budget by end of February every year, the real finance minister who is also minister of oceans, skies and soil, starts presenting its budget some time in June every year.
Though India ranks second world wide in farm output, Indian economy is basically agrarian and is dependent on the monsoon rains. More than 60 percent of its net sown agricultural area is dependent on the monsoon rains that feed the crops. Good monsoon always means a good harvest and brings in cheers all around India. A weak or bad monsoon is always considered as a big set back to India’s economy and always results in a big loss in the country GDP ((Gross Domestic Product) levels.
Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and fisheries account only for about 13.7% of the GDP in 2013 and about 50% of the total workforce. However, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India. Number of allied industries, prices and people’s living still relies on monsoon. Water availability, apart from agriculture, for drinking and other purposes including production of hydroelectricity is another key factor that is heavily hang on the monsoon cloud. Farmers, businessmen, politicians and citizens always eagerly waiting for Monsoon rains to come.
TERRE considers that monsoon rains are important part of the food security , poverty reduction programme and well being of the people.
Indians can be defined as those who all eager to know the possible date of monsoon’s arrival on its south-west coast, its intensity during rainy season and also level of rainfall.
For this the most awaited and celebrated event of the year, TERRE Policy centre has decided to organize every year RDV in the month of May . The launch of the annual event was done by the excellent talk by DR. R.N. Sable, Head of the Department , Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri. ( Agricultural University )
Dr. Sable with 37 years of experience in research and teaching has developed an innovative technic of forecasting of rains. He has been credited with developing innovative and simplified model for the predictions related to arrival of monsoon forecasting its pattern in India. For last few years his predictions have materialized and were helpful for the farmers.
The Key message from Dr. Sable who interacted with audience on 25th May 2015 in city of Pune, on the Western Ghats of India was:
The monsoon will hit the country more or less in time though there will be the gaps of 10-15 days in consecutive rainfalls. So dealing with this irregular time table of rainfall, farmers should change their cropping pattern. He then delineated which crops the farmers should prioritize in 2015. Cultivation of crops that require less water (chilies, sunflower etc.) should be prioritized instead of traditional water thirsty crops (cotton, sugarcane).
Lack of awareness about rainwater harvesting, watershed management among farmers makes them totally dependent upon rainwater for farming.
What are the reasons for irregularities in monsoon? Dr. Sable gave series of reasons: Globalization, urbanization, climate change, El Nino, ( rise in water temperature of Pacific ocean).
After the session, Dr. Sable interacted with the many enthusiast audiences with their queries. END