State sitting pretty with good pre-monsoon rains

Sowing operations exceed the target in some districts

State sitting pretty with  good pre-monsoon rains

For now, Karnataka is not unduly concerned about the possible paucity of monsoon rains, because the pre-monsoon showers have been more than average and sowing operations, too, have exceeded the target in some districts in the State.

On Monday, the Union government had announced that monsoon could be 12 per cent deficient compared with the average across the country. It had also forecast that monsoon may enter Kerala on June 5 and thus be delayed by five days.

According G S Srinivas Reddy, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, pre-monsoon showers last from January to May-end in the State. The normal rain expected is 129 mm, while the State has received 177 mm.

“We received exceedingly good pre-monsoon showers in May. Even if the monsoon entry is delayed by a week or so, we need not worry. Because, early sowing has taken place in Chamarajanagar, Mysuru and Hassan, among other districts. The extent of sowing is also much higher than the average,” he said.

Reddy said the India Meteorological Department had made a monsoon prediction for South India, but no specific forecast for Karnataka. The forecast says there could be an eight per cent departure or deficiency compared with the average monsoon of 850 mm, he said.

Asked whether the projected eight per cent deficiency would affect foodgrain output, Reddy said, “It may not affect agricultural activities. But if monsoon is not evenly distributed, then we will face problem. Karnataka’s south-west monsoon period is from June to September. The five-decades average is 850 mm,” he said.

Contingency plan ready
Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the government had drawn up a contingency plan to face drought. Farmers in areas affected by a dry spell will be asked to go in for alternative crops. Seeds have been already procured and an awareness programme on facing the dry spell has been taken up. Besides, farmers are being encouraged to construct water-harvesting structures under the Krishi Bhagya scheme, he said.

The government obtained the monsoon forecast a fortnight ago and began chalking out the contingency plan.

As per the forecast, monsoon will hit the Karnataka coast in the second week of June.
The southern peninsula is expected to get about 93 per cent rainfall, the minister said.
Farmers in the State have already commenced sowing operations, mainly due to good pre-monsoon rains. Sowing has been done on 2.67 lakh hectares against the target of 73 lakh hectares.

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