India experienced 'normal' rainfall during the monsoon season, despite the presence of El Niño conditions, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The country received 820 mm of rainfall, which is 94.4 per cent of the long-period average of 868.6 mm.
Economists have noted that while kharif sowing has increased compared to last year, the lower acreage for pulses and oilseeds due to deficient rain in August could lead to inflationary pressure.
The Director General of Meteorology at IMD, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, said the country as a whole received 5.7 per cent less rainfall than normal. He also mentioned that the impact of El Niño was mitigated by other factors, resulting in minimal impact on rainfall.
The IMD initially predicted a rainfall of 96 per cent for the monsoon season, with a possible error margin of plus or minus 4 per cent.
September witnessed a high amount of rainfall, which helped to alleviate some of the deficit experienced in August.
Approximately 73 per cent of sub-divisional areas received normal rainfall, while 18 per cent experienced deficient rainfall.
The significant deficit in August's rainfall is expected to have a negative impact on agriculture, according to economists.
The monsoon core zone, which includes most of the rain-fed agriculture regions in the country, received normal rainfall of 101 per cent of the long-period average. However, there was a deficiency in rainfall during June and August.
The seasonal rainfalls in Northwest India, Central India, Southern Peninsula, and Northeast India were 101 per cent, 100 per cent, 92 per cent, and 82 per cent respectively of their long-period average.
Although the overall Kharif sowing increased by 236,000 hectares compared to last year, there was a significant decrease of 541,000 hectares in the area under pulses.
According to government data, the area under oilseeds decreased by 316,000 hectares.
India receives about 70 per cent of its annual rainfall from the southwest monsoon.
The agriculture sector contributes 18 per cent to the gross value added (GVA) and can be significantly affected by a weak monsoon, impacting overall economic growth.
The withdrawal of the monsoon began in west Rajasthan, but there was a delay of eight days, starting on 25 September.
According to the weather office, rainfall in October is expected to be within the normal range of 85-115 per cent of the long period average for the country.
According to the weather office, South Peninsular India and Northeast India are expected to have above-normal rainfall, while most of the country will experience below-normal rainfall.
Currently, there are El Niño conditions in the equatorial Pacific region, and the latest MMCFS forecast suggests that these conditions will continue in the upcoming season.
El Niño conditions are known to result in weaker monsoon winds and reduced rainfall in India.
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