In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Dr LS Rathore, Director General of IMD said, the monsoons are expected to hit the coast of Kerala by 5 June. However, the high temperatures and the slight delay in the monsoon might hurt cotton sowing, believes Rathore.
For an economy that is highly dependent on agriculture, the timely arrival of the monsoons in India is extremely crucial. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Dr LS Rathore, Director General of IMD said, the monsoons are expected to hit the coast of Kerala by 5 June. Although, it normally arrives in India by 1 June, this time there can be a delay of four-five days, added Rathore.
However, the high temperatures and the slight delay in monsoons might not hurt kharif crops, believes Rathore. But, crops like cotton can be affected to some extent due to the above normal temperatures.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: There has been talk about a delay in the Kerala monsoon. You are still saying that things will be alright eventually for the monsoon?
A: The normal date of onset of monsoon over Kerala is 1 June, that is today. We also predicted that monsoon will be over Kerala by today, plus-minus four days. It is plus four days and on 5 June we can expect the onset of monsoon in the coast of Kerala.
Q: There have been some concerns that the ongoing heat wave may have already impacted the sowing pattern for the crops in this season. Any fears on that front that there maybe an adverse effect in terms of the crop acreage or output because of the kind of heat wave there has been?
A: Not really. Heat wave is very normal during this part of the year. The only thing is that this year a large part, mostly the area north of 20 degree north-east is reeling under the heat wave. But, there is no concern as far as sowing of kharif crops are concerned.
The only concern is for some crops like cotton in north-west India, in parts of Haryana, Punjab, north Rajasthan and Gujarat which is the cotton belt. Cotton sowing takes place now and because the temperature is above normal, around 4-6 degrees above normal, it would definitely have some bearing on the cotton seeds.
Q: Any correlation at all at this point between the timing of the monsoons arriving versus the performance or the quantum of it?
A: I am not in a position to say anything at this juncture. Maybe around 20 June, we will be able to be more precise on the quantity as well as special distribution of precipitation during the monsoon season.
Q: There has been some talk that maybe the second half of the monsoon this time could be a bit tricky because of the El Nino effect. Have you seen progression or anything to report on that front in the last few weeks?
A: The prediction for sea surface temperature in the pacific region is called El Nino, the warming is called El Nino. The prediction is indicative of the fact that the temperature would be 0.5 degree celsius or slightly above the normal in that part of the ocean. Therefore, it will definitely have some impact on the east west circulation and will impact the monsoon.
Exactly which region will be impacted more severely, less severely or whether there will be no impact at all, is difficult to tell at this point in time. The monsoon domain in itself is very huge, starting from Africa to parts of pacific south China Sea and so on.
Therefore, you do not know where exactly El Nino will be impacting. Yes, there are some concerns. However, that will develop only in the terminal phase of monsoon.
Q: What is the outlook right now in terms of special distribution?
A: We will be giving special distribution only after 20 June.