Delayed monsoon, scorching sun likely to push Jharkhand into drought

June 23rd, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, June 23 (IANS) With no signs of the heat abating any time soon, farmers in Jharkhand may be in deep trouble. If the monsoon continues to be delayed, the state may find itself facing a drought.
Previous data from the meteorological department reveals that the monsoon used to hit the state in the first or second week of June. But up until now there have been no signs of its arrival.

According to experts, there is no indication that the monsoon will arrive in the state in the next three to four days. They believe that the impact of Cyclone Aila from West Bengal has caused a delay in the monsoon. “Jharkhand has been affected by the impact of Aila. The monsoon may hit the state by the end of the month or in the first week of July,” said an official of the Ranchi meteorological department.

Ranchi, which used to be the summer capital of undivided Bihar is also suffering high temperatures. On June 21 and 22, the mercury was recorded at 40.5 and 41 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Jharkhand depends on the monsoon for its farming. Only 12 percent of cultivable land is irrigated through canals or with other irrigation systems.

According to experts, the farmers used to sow the seeds during the pre-monsoon showers witnessed during May or in the first week of June. This year, however, the farmers did not get a chance to do so due to the lack of rainfall. Now they will have to do it after the showers. Furthermore, the state may witness erratic rainfall which could affect the seeds and may create a drought-like situation, aver experts.

“The farmers should sow seeds by arranging water from alternative sources. This year, the monsoon may not be regular and farmers should plan their farming accordingly,” said Dr. B.N. Singh, a professor of Birsa Agriculture University (BAU).

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