Importance of Monsoon on Indian Agriculture
In India, Monsoon refers to the rainy season. The humid south-west monsoon winds causes plenty of rainfall during the period between early June and October.
A large portion of Indian farmers still depends upon rain-fall to carry out the agricultural activities. Since, agriculture is one of the most important constituent on Indian economy (contributing around 16 percent of its total GDP), monsoon season has an indirect impact on its economy as well.
India has a tropical monsoon type of climate. So here the temperature in the summer months is high and the rainfall is heavy. High temperature and heavy rainfall in the summer months are important for the growth of different types of kharif crops in different parts of India.
Unlike other countries in high latitudes, India enjoys long hours of sunshine even during the winter months. So with winter precipitation (supplemented by irrigation) a second rabi crop is easily grown.
The amount of rainfall is the most important determinant of the type of crop raised. Wet crops are raised in wet zone and dry crops in the dry zone.
- Crops like rice, jute, sugarcane, etc. require high temperature and heavy rainfall for their cultivation. So these crops are cultivated in summer.
- Crops like wheat, barley etc. require moderate temperature and rainfall. So these are cultivated in winter.
- Rubber trees require uniformly high temperature and regular rainfall all the year round.
- In the southern parts of the Deccan, the temperature is fairly high all the year round and the rainfall is well-distributed over 6 to 8 months. So rubber is grown in the southern parts of the Deccan.
A large number of farmers depend upon monsoon-rains to meet the food requirement of their family. They engage in agricultural activities not to sell the crops, but for their own needs.
Normal rainfall is essential for adequate agricultural output. In a large country like India, it is essential to maintain the food prices. Food inflation may destabilize the entire nation. The food prices depend upon the agricultural output.
Rainfall is said to be normal with it is falls between 96% and 104% of the average rainfall of the past 50 years. The average of recorded rainfall for the past 50 years is 80 cms.
In spite of the introduction of improved irrigation methods, around 40% of our cropped area still entirely depends upon rain-water. Further, a number of dams, reservoirs, rivers, and canals are rain-feed and depends upon the monsoon rains.
How does Monsoon happen? As a consequence of high temperature over the Tropic of cancer, the region develops low pressure. The winds from high pressure water-belts such as Bay of Bengal, Arabian sea and Indian ocean, starts moving towards the low-pressure belts. They shift their direction while crossing the equator and start blowing from the south-west direction. The wind gets moistened while passing along these seas. This moisture-laden wind causes heavy rainfall across the various places in India.
Conclusion: The monsoon rainfall is very uncertain. It may arrive early and linger on for a long time or it may arrive too late. It may cause too heavy rainfall in some parts and too little in others. It may course floods and droughts. So the Indian present lives are at the mercy of the monsoon.