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GIEWS Update-detail
FAO/GIEWS Global Watch

13 July 2009

India Update -
Late start of the monsoon season – Northwest most affected

In India the southwest summer monsoon rains normally start early June in the south and work their way to the north by mid-July to begin the main kharif cropping season. However, according to the India Meteorological Department, the cumulative rainfall from 1 June to 9 July this year was 34 percent below a verage for the country as a whole. Total precipitation, however, had improved from the 43 percent deficit the week before. The most below-normal rainfall has been experienced in the north-western areas of western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh , Delhi , Punjab , Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat .

The impact of late and below normal cumulative rains on vegetation growth is seen in the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) satellite image below (Figure 1). Although the exact impact of late plantings is not yet known, t he early outlook for kharif crops including rice and coarse grains is unfavourable in some of the major producing regions. Based on the past five year average, cereal production from the Kharif season amounts to about 53 percent of total annual production, or an average of 107.5 million tonnes per year.

Figure 1: NDVI June 2009, dekad 3

Source: FAO–ARTEMIS, SPOT Image.

Figure 2: Daily rainfall

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Source: India Meteorological Department.