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Farmers stare at drought as Jharkhand rain deficit crosses 50%

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Jaideep Deogharia | TNN | Updated: Jul 22, 2019 ..

RANCHI: Early season drought has once again hit Jharkhand, like the previous year. This time the distribution of rainfall has been scarce as a result of which 23 out of 24 districts have recorded a deficit in rainfall.

Barring Sahebganj, which recorded 15% surplus rain, most of the districts have received 50% less than normal rainfall. The worst-affected districts are Pakur and Khunti with 63% and 66% deficit rain. Next in queue is Godda with 62% deficit rainfall.

As against the season's normal rainfall of 421mm, the overall recorded till Sunday was 238.6mm, indicating 43% deficit which is around 13% more than the previous week. According to an analysis, released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the weekly deficit reached a whooping 83% in the previous week. Because of poor rainfall and lack of cloud cover, the temperature in most parts of the state have started rising, making it highly uncomfortable for people.

Ranchi recorded 33.8°C on Sunday, whereas Jamshedpur and Daltonganj recorded 37°C and 36.2°C.

Scientist and director of IMD, Ranchi, S D Kothal, in the afternoon bulletin indicated that there was ample chance of moderate rainfall on Wednesday in some parts of the state.

IMD has also predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in most parts of the state from Friday. "The monsoon system remained subdued over Jharkhand during the previous week, but it is likely to get stronger by the end of the month," Kothal said.

Agriculture physicist and agromet advisor at Birsa Agriculture University, Dr A Wadood, said that Jharkhand has usually received its annual quota of rainfall even if there has been instances of early season or late season drought in previous years. "The annual average rainfall of Jharkhand is 1400 mm out of which around 1100mm rainfall occurs during monsoon and our experience says that despite spatial variation, overall rainfall has normally touched the average mark," he said.
Expressing hope for good rainfall in August, Wadood said that the game is not yet over for the farmers. "Two parameters of drought condition - rainfall deficit and poor crop coverage -is evident all over the state but as farmers can go for transplantation of paddy till August 15, there are chances that partly the loss would be mitigated," he said.

While reviewing the situation of crop coverage, the agriculture department was informed that around 18-20% coverage of paddy, lentil, urad and maize have been completed in state. "Special advisory has been released for the farmers for contingent cropping and in case the rainfall resumes, as is expected by the month-end, they can gain some relief," Wadood said.