India to have ‘near normal’ monsoon: minister

April 16th, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The India Metrological Department (IMD) has forecast that the country will have a “near normal” monsoon this year, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said Wednesday. “(The) department’s long range forecast for the 2008 southwest monsoon season is that the rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be near normal,” Sibal told reporters here.

“Good monsoon means good growth. Agriculture production will go up, prices will fall. There will be more water, which means increase in productivity. Farm income will go up,” the minister added.

The monsoon normally strikes the Kerala coast May 1. The government will update its forecast in June.

This year’s forecast utilises both the statistical and dynamic models. The earlier method of relying on the statistical model alone had led to inaccurate predictions.

“The statistical model works well only for the northwest, central, northern and western parts of India while the dynamic model works well for peninsular and the northeastern India,” Sibal said.

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