IMD to release its monsoon forecast today
New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will give this year's monsoon forecast today. The prediction will be released by Director General Laxman Singh Rathore, and it will be, perhaps, his last weather forecast as the IMD chief.
Rathore is likely to superannuate in coming months. The Southwest Monsoon, which is considered as the lifeline of the Indian sub-continent, is expected to be normal this year.
Skyment, a private weather forecasting agency, has predicted an above normal monsoon this year.
Meanwhile, the Centre has said that after two years of deficient rainfall, it is expecting normal monsoon this year as it directed states to chalk out plans to boost crop acreage and production in kharif season starting June.
"El nino condition is declining. It is expected that La Nina condition will takeover, and will perhaps favour a good monsoon this year," Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Patnaik said.
India's foodgrain production declined to 252.02 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) from the record 265.04 million tonnes in the previous year, due to poor monsoon.
The output is estimated to rise slightly to 253.16 in the ongoing 2015-16 crop year due to 14 per cent less rains. Two consecutive bad monsoons have led to farm distress and water scarcity in the country.
Less than normal rainfall in the last two years has left farmers and resources at stress. There is high moisture stress in soil.
Even the Economic Survey in February had said El Nino, which is held responsible for extreme weather events across the country last year, is unlikely to repeat this year.