The delay in arrival of by a week may not have any significant impact on sowing of kharif crops, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Patnaik has said.
Southwest monsoon has hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday, but cyclone in the Bay of Bengal will “weaken its progress”, resulting in delay onset of monsoon in Kerala, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Usually, it takes 10 days for monsoon to hit Kerala and IMD has projected that it would set over Kerala on June 7 with a model error of plus or minus four days.
“The IMD has forecast six days delay plus or minus four days in arrival of monsoon. We are keeping a close watch. We feel a week’s delay in arrival of rains may not have significant impact on the kharif sowing,” Patnaik was quoted as saying in a news report.
Even if there is delay, rains are likely to make progress after June 7 and boost sowing operation, he said.
Stressing that present water level in reservoirs is low, Patnaik said state governments have been asked to keep ready with district-wise contingency plan in case the monsoon delays further, he said.
Government has positioned sufficient supply of fertilisers, quality and certified seeds and other necessary farm inputs for the kharif sowing at state levels, he added.
Southwest monsoon, the lifeline of India’s agriculture, starts in June and its progress triggers sowing of kharif crops like rice, pulses, corn, sugarcane, cotton and soyabean is undertaken.