India’s rain-fed agriculture region is set to receive above-normal rainfall this monsoon season, the weather office said raising hopes for a bumper farm output and reining in inflation.Rainfall during the southwest monsoon will be normal this year at 103% of the longperiod average, IMD director-general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said. The long-period average (LPA) — currently the average of rains during 1971-2020 — for the JuneSeptember monsoon season is 87 cm.

The southwest monsoon contributes 74.9% to India’s annual rainfall and has a bearing on the rural demand for consumer goods, gold, cars, motorcycles, tractors, farm equipment, and inputs such as pesticides, fertilisers and seeds. Good monsoon rains have helped the agriculture sector record steady growth while the rest of the economy has suffered due to the pandemic.

Mohapatra said in the near future, India could witness normal monsoons as the decadal epoch of below normal rains was nearing its end. Asked about the criticism faced by IMD for “hasty” declaration of monsoon onset over Kerala, Mohapatra said the weather office followed a scientific process to announce the onset and progress of monsoon. He asserted that 70 per cent of the weather stations in Kerala had reported fairly widespread rainfall and other parameters related to strong westerly winds and cloud formation over the region were fulfilled. Mohapatra said the prevailing La Nina conditions, which refer to the cooling of the equatorial Pacific region, were expected to continue till August and augur well for the monsoon rains in India.

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