(MENAFN- IANS) Guwahati/Agartala/Imphal, Oct 2 (IANS) Even though the four-month long (June to September) Southwest monsoon yet to withdraw from the northeastern region, three of the eight states of the region -- Assam, Manipur and Mizoram -- witnessed deficient monsoon rainfall due to lack of rain-bearing clouds and monsoon troughs from the Bay of Bengal.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), of the four IMD's regions across the country, the northeast region has recorded 82 per cent rain in this year's monsoon period so far.
Senior official in the IMD, Nahush Kulkarni, said that the Southwest monsoon has not yet withdrawn from the northeastern region.
“After analysing all monsoon related parameters and environmental conditions, the IMD would announce the withdrawal of the seasonal monsoon,” Kulkarni told IANS.
Another IMD official said that normally the four-month long Southwest monsoon departs a week or 10 days after the withdrawal of the monsoon from most parts of the country.
The IMD had on Saturday released the 2023 Southwest monsoon end seasonal report, saying that rainfall over the country as a whole during June-September was 94 per cent of its long period average (LPA).
Seasonal rainfall over Northwest India, Central India, South Peninsula and Northeast (NE) India were 101 per cent, 100 per cent, 92 per cent and 82 per cent, of their respective LPA, respectively, it said.
Experts said that as per the long period average estimation, during the past three to four years, though the northeastern states witnessed normal rainfall, uneven distribution of monsoon rain has affected various crops in the region, where agriculture is the mainstay.
According to the IMD data, Assam, Manipur and Mizoram so far this year witnessed deficient rainfall while five other northeastern states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura -- have experienced normal rains so far since the southwest monsoon began in June.
There are four meteorological sub-divisions in the northeastern region -- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam-Meghalaya, Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura and Sikkim & parts of West Bengal.
In Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura, there is 12 per cent to 16 per cent deficient rainfall while in Sikkim, 5 per cent excess rains have been recorded since June.
As per the IMD norms, up to 19 per cent deficient or excess rainfall is categorised as normal.
The IMD data revealed that in Manipur, there is 46 per cent deficiency, in Mizoram, the shortage of rainfall has been recorded at 28 per cent, while Assam recorded 20 per cent deficit monsoon rains since June.
The record 46 per cent deficiency in monsoon rains and five-month long ethnic violence have critically affected agriculture in Manipur, where irrigation facilities are also insufficient.
According to an independent survey conducted by Loumee Shinmee Apunba Lup (LOUSAL), a farmers' body, a total area of around 9,719 hectares of paddy fields in Manipur's valley regionsare facing crop failure as the farmers are afraid to go into the fields because of sporadic firing by armed attackers from the lower foothills.
Agriculture department officials said that it has been estimated that the total income loss in terms of money for the state in the agricultural sector this year could be around Rs 226.50 crore.
Of this, the highest loss would be in rice production to the extent of Rs 211.41 crore, which accounts for 93.36 per cent of total agriculture and allied activities followed by livestock farming.
Of the five crisis-hit valley districts -- Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching Thoubal and Bishnupur -- are the worst affected in terms of agricultural land area comprising 5,288 hectares, constituting 54.4 per cent of the total land area of 9,719 hectares.
Agriculture department Commissioner R.K. Dinesh Singh said that the Union Home Ministry, following a proposal of the department to provide crop compensation package for the ethnic violence affected farmers, has sanctioned Rs 38.06 crore.
He said the department had earlier proposed to the Home Ministry to provide a package of Rs 38.06 crore as crop compensation for the violence-hit farmers and the ministry has accepted the proposal and sanctioned the fund.
Senior technical officer in the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Dhiman Daschaudhuri, said that rainfall in the four-month-long monsoon period in the northeastern region was more or less normal for the past few years, but proper distribution of rain has become a factor for agriculture.
"We have observed that there are dry spells at the beginning of the monsoon, affecting the seedling of the seasonal crops. Subsequently, sufficient or excess rain occurred. The imbalances of monsoon rain affect the timely sowing of different varieties if rice and other crops,” Daschaudhuri told IANS.
He said sometimes after the dry spell, cyclone-triggered rain benefits cropping in the region.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at )
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