With a 41% shortfall in rain, sowing of kharif crops takes a hit in Maharashtra

The Indian Express | 4 days ago | 24-06-2022 | 03:45 am

With a 41% shortfall in rain, sowing of kharif crops takes a hit in Maharashtra

It is not just political uncertainty that Maharashtra is facing. The lack of rain in the state has meant that there has hardly been any sowing of kharif crops. The 41.4 per cent deficient rainfall in the state during the current southwest monsoon season (till June 23) is in contrast to the 82.5 per cent surplus in Assam—where the ruling Shiv Sena’s rebel MLAs are holed up.The monsoon technically entered Maharashtra on June 10 and had covered the entire state by Thursday. The rain, however, has been scanty overall, with only scattered showers. Most farmers have, therefore, refrained from taking up sowing. The main worry is over kharif pulses, particularly moong (green gram) and urad (black gram), whose window seems to be closing.“I normally grow moong and urad on around two acres each, the sowing for which has to be completed by the month-end. This time, I have decided to skip these two crops and, instead, plant cotton on 12 acres and soyabean on my remaining four acres,” said Manik Kadam, a farmer from Arvi village in Marathwada district.At 89 mm, cumulative rainfall so far in this region has been 10.4 per cent below the normal historical average of 99.3 mm for this period. The deficiency has been even higher at 37.4 per cent (70.7 mm versus 113 mm) for Vidarbha and 51.4 per cent (53.1 mm versus 109.3 mm) for Madhya (central) Maharashtra.Sufficient rain by the third week of June is important for moong and urad, which are short-duration pulses ofroughly 70 and 80 days, respectively. Both are sensitive to water-logging and the tendency for heavy rain in September has made farmers wary of stretching sowing beyond June.The Mahatma Phule Agricultural University at Rahuri in Ahmedngar and the Marathawada Agricultural University inParbhani have also issued advisories to farmers to not sow the two pulses after June.The varsities have recommended cut-off dates for sowing of crops based on rainfall and soil moisture availability.The sowing window for soyabean and cotton is longer, till July-end and mid-August, respectively in Vidarbha. For Marathwada, the cut-off date for sowing cotton is mid-July, with farmers being advised to go for maize or jowar (sorghum) in case rain continues to play truant.Like Kadam, Ramesh Patil has taken a call not to sow moong and urad. The farmer from Chapoli village in Laturdistrict said: “Normally, I grow these on 1.5 acres. But it’s too late now and I will sow soyabean. That is, of course, if it rains.”

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UPSC Key-June 28, 2022: Why to read ‘Hurting religious Sentiments’ or ‘India Gate’s Empty Canopy’ or ‘Gig Economy’ for UPSC CSE
The Indian Express | 7 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 07:45 pm
The Indian Express
7 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 07:45 pm

Important topics and their relevance in UPSC CSE exam for June 28, 2022. 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UPSC Key-June 28, 2022: Why to read ‘Hurting religious Sentiments’ or ‘India Gate’s Empty Canopy’ or ‘Gig Economy’ for UPSC CSE
Best Monsoon Fort Treks In Maharashtra For A Thrilling Adventure
India | 2 days ago | 26-06-2022 | 04:41 pm
India
2 days ago | 26-06-2022 | 04:41 pm

Best Fort Treks in Maharashtra: When we say trek, it is usually associated with mountains, valleys, snow-capped ranges, and a breathtaking view of hills covered in clouds. Treks are indeed a tryst with nature. But, for a change, how about traversing the trails to a historical landscape? How about trekking to history? The state of Maharashtra has some of the most amazing fort treks in store for a soul of an adventurer with a tinge of history buff inside.Also Read - Tirthan Valley Trek: A Handbook To Trail The Best Treks For Budding Trekker In YouJoining the trend game, fort treks offers a two in one deal- a trekking plus historical adventure. It is an expedition where one can enjoy the thrill of trekking, climbing up the hills only to reach an architectural marvel that inhabits the stories of bygone eras. Stories of dynastic reigns and how they constructed such majestic forts, only to be unfurled once you triumph over the invigorating trek to history.Image Credits: Instagram-explore.India“The Iron Fort”, in Marathi, stands tall at an elevation of about 1,033 m in the foothills of Sahyadri range in Lonavla. Lohagadwadi village is said to be the ideal spot to commence the trek from. Walking through the green covers of the land, one needs to trek up the fort’s stone steps. This fort has been passed on to through many dynasties and there are speculations that it was constructed around the 18th century. This is one of best the best picks for a monsoon trek as one is to find few wonderful waterfalls along the way.Duration– 3-4 hoursLevel- EasyA post shared by TraveloguersIndia (@traveloguersindia)Have you got guts? Because this is one of the most challenging treks which will get the adrenaline pumping. It is perched at about 4670 feet in the district of Ahmednagar. This 6th century historical site is one of the most popular treks wherein lies multiple temples as well. Taramati peak is the highest point from where one can enjoy a spectacular vista of the hills. Water cisterns, Buddhist caves and temples are the key highlights of the trek and trekkers can also camp by the caves. Ain’t it exciting?Duration – 6 hoursLevel– Moderate to difficultImage Credits: Instagram: shivneri_fort_junnarThe birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the pioneer of the Maratha empire, Shivneri is another hill fort which is also the pride of Maharashtra. The base for this trek is Junnar village from where the stimulating terrains will take you through the history of the vestiges of this fort. Apart from the spellbinding views, trekkers can visit water springs, ponds, and temples atop this fort premises.Duration – Almost one full dayLevel– MediumA post shared by Vipul Jadhav 🇮🇳 (@the_travelholic_)Built around 1500 AD, much of Korigad Fort’s beauty stands intact than its other counterparts in the state. It is said to be named after its presiding deity, Koraidevi. It is said that Shivaji Maharaj had captured these forts and kept Korigad fort even after the Treaty of Purander, highlighting the importance of this fort the Maratha king. There are some beautiful temples, two lakes atop the fort, and marvelous panoramic view of the Amby Valley.Duration – 1.5- 2 hoursLevel– Easy to MediumA post shared by insta_trending_status (@insta_trending_status)Located near Igatpuri, another popular weekend getaway in Maharashtra, Harihar fort trek is not for the faint hearted. This trek is quite riveting due to its intriguing geographical tracts. This one is a whole geometry in itself. It’s resting rock is triangular in shape, the base is rectangular, and the vertical trekking walls have steps carved into a rock. Unequivocally, the monsoon season brings out the best scenes in this trek and  if guided well via a local, it would only add to the unforgettable experience.Duration– Almost a dayLevel– Medium to hardImage Credits: PixabayNestled in the exquisite greens of the Western Ghat in Mahad, Raigad Fort offers a mesmerising trekking experience. Towering in its glory at an elevation of about 2700 feet, more than 1400 steps are carved into the mountains for the trekkers to traverse and triumph. Abundant with rich history, it is advised to hire a local guide for a thorough tour. A highlight of this trek is that you can sit in the ropeway and slide down the fort immersed in its swooning beauty.Duration – 1 dayLevel– EasyNote: The duration of the treks are written with a general estimation. It might vary depending upon individual speed and stamina.Sounds exciting? Let’s trek to history. Jai Maharashtra!

Best Monsoon Fort Treks In Maharashtra For A Thrilling Adventure
Truant monsoon can put pressure on prices, GDP, say expert
Times of India | 3 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 10:21 am
Times of India
3 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 10:21 am

NAGPUR: The Southwest Monsoon this year has started on an erratic note, and is presently lagging behind schedule. Experts fear that the monsoon deficiency is going to further increase pressure on food prices, which are already high. At a webinar organized by Delhi-based climate communications initiative Climate Trends on Friday, experts raised concern over skewed rainfall distribution, which is likely to have an impact on the sowing process. According to them, the stress would be more over Northwest India, which has been dealing with prolonged dry spells. “Situation is not very pleasant in parts of East and Central India, as there is a high deficit. Further, with high humidity, the threat of pest diseases also looms large,” they said. India has been witnessing extreme weather conditions of rainfall deficit in most parts of the country and simultaneously witnessing massive flooding in Northeast India. This has brought focus back on the high monsoon rainfall variability, which has been a cause of concern for the country, which employs 50% of its workforce in rain-fed dependent agriculture. Experts say, the number of dry days has increased during the four-month long season, while rainy days have reduced. However, extreme weather events have increased. Although, in the last three years (2019-2021), India recorded normal to above normal rainfall, but variability in dispersal of monsoon rains has been ever high. With climate change here to stay, scientists and experts have called for new agricultural practices and technologies which are climate resilient. “Easterly winds, which are responsible for bridging monsoon rains, have been completely absent so far in June. We are witnessing southwesterly winds, which have taken rains from Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand to Northeast India. We are not expecting easterly winds for the next 4-5 days as well, which is a cause of worry for the northern region,” said RK Jenamani, senior scientist, National Weather Forecast Division, India Meteorological Department (IMD). The Southwest Monsoon is a key influencer in the country’s economy, especially for the 18% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) share from agriculture, along with allied industries. This period coincides with the sowing season for India’s main cropping season named Kharif, for rice cultivation. Over 40% of the sown area of India is still dependent on rain-fed irrigation. Experts also raised concern on this. “Kharif sowing has been affected because of the prolonged dry spell that still continues, while the northeast region is bearing the brunt of extreme heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, for the rest of the country sowing is in process. However, there is a cause for worry as Maharashtra is highly deficit by 41%,” said Devinder Sharma, agriculture trade policy analyst, adding that there is a need for climate smart technology, which should be in sync with agriculture, which accounts for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. A 1% change in monsoon rainfall will result in 0.34% change in India's agriculture-driven GDP that year, said Abinash Mohanty, programme lead, risks and adaptation, Council for Energy Environment and Water said. “A normal monsoon can increase GDP from the transport, storage, trade and communication sector by 1% and 3% in the agri-dominated states. Our electricity generation can decrease by 13% in case of weakened monsoon. These numbers are a concern but we need to build resilience through systems, technology and financial innovations. System innovations can help improve the state’s capacity to predict, prepare and respond to extreme events,” added Mohanty.

Truant monsoon can put pressure on prices, GDP, say expert
Mumbai's Drinking Water Stocks Dip Below 10 Per Cent, Current Supply Can Suffice 38 Days: BMC
India | 4 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 01:52 am
India
4 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 01:52 am

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation announced that Mumbai has 38 days of water reserves remaining in the lakes supplying the city. June indicates the end of a sultry and hot summer and the beginning of the monsoon season in Mumbai, however this year’s rains have gotten off to a rough start, with Mumbai receiving only 177 millimeters of rain so far, which is meager compared to the 570 millimeters the city should have received.Also Read - Ranji Trophy Final: Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma Power MP On Verge of First-innings LeadHowever, the implications of a patchy monsoon system is that Mumbai’s catchment areas, which consist of seven lakes which supply the city with water throughout the year, have also not received ample rains for this time of the year. The BMC stated that the city has just 38 days of water reserves remaining, and now all eyes are on an Upper Air Cyclonic Circulation forming in the Arabian sea, which is forecasted to give extremely heavy rains along the Maharashtra coast over the next few days. Also Read - Spine-Chilling Video: Teenager Falls Off Local Train, Escapes Death by Inches | WATCHA good monsoon system will deposit 2422 millimeters of rain between the months of June and September. This amount of rain is enough to satisfy the 15 lakh million liters of water that Mumbai requires yearly to avoid water cuts. However, the problem in recent years has not been a lack of rains in Mumbai, but rather in the catchment areas. Also Read - Rebel Shiv Sena Leader Eknath Shinde Likely To Return To Mumbai From Guwahati, To Meet Deputy SpeakerDue to climate change, the rains during the monsoon have deposited large amounts of water in very short amounts of time, and the storms that impact Mumbai are often slow moving and fizzle out before they reach key catchment areas in places like Bhatsa. Despite the fact that a normal monsoon season is predicted for Mumbai, it doesn’t translate into a good haul of rainfall for the catchment areas, leaving Mumbai and its surrounding suburbs at risk of running dry during the summer months.Since the Monsoon onset was declared on June 11th, Mumbai has been receiving patchy rain with cloudy skies, keeping the humidity uncomfortably high with relatively dry days.Written By: Shaurya Sharma

Mumbai's Drinking Water Stocks Dip Below 10 Per Cent, Current Supply Can Suffice 38 Days: BMC
Deficient June rainfall deals blow to kharif sowing
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 12:45 am
The Indian Express
4 days ago | 25-06-2022 | 12:45 am

Kharif sowing in the country has taken a massive hit due to lack of rains. Data released by the Union government on Friday showed 140.52 lakh hectares of sowing as against 184.44 lakh hectares last year. And with the southwest monsoon likely to continue in its weak phase till the end of June, there is growing uncertainty over this year’s remaining kharif sowing.India’s highest regional rainfall deficiency of minus 31 per cent (from June 1 to June 24) is being reported from the central India region, covering Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.“Except Marathwada, most areas in central India are under stress due to deficient rainfall received in this season so far. There are no favourable systems likely to form that could bring rains over central and interior peninsular India, at least till the end of June,” said Medha Khole, scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune.This could mean that deficient June rainfall resulting in poor soil moisture could hit major kharif cultivation areas in the country.Among the kharif crops, oilseeds have taken the maximum hit with the country reporting 47.45 per cent year-on-year dip. Only 11.48 lakh hectares of area has come under oilseed from last year’s 22.41 lakh hectares. Similarly, rice (19.59/36.03 lakh hectares), pulses (8.70/13.62 lakh hectares), coarse cereals (11.08/18.06 lakh hectares) and cotton (31.83/37.84 lakh hectares) have reported dip in sowing. The only crop that has reported a positive growth is sugarcane with farmers taking the cash crop over 50.74 lakh hectares this season as against 50.16 lakh hectares last year.While the sowing window of oilseeds such as soybean and pulses like tur is far from over, growers of moong and urad are a worried lot. The sowing window of these two crops closes by June-end as against soybean, cotton, tur and other crops that can be sown till the end of July. Farmers in most states are waiting for enough soil moisture to accelerate their sowing operations.Since the monsoon onset over Kerala on May 29, a majority of rainfall recorded has been either due to western disturbances and allied systems or convective activities resulting in thunderstorms — that too, as late as in third week of June.Last week’s record rainfall over Assam and Meghalaya was predominantly due to southerly winds from the Bay of Bengal. Earlier this week, an interaction of active western disturbances caused snow, heavy rain and hail over parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Rainfall along the west coast too picked up over the last few days.All these high rainfall events collectively pushed the all-India weekly rainfall (June 16 – 22) to +45 per cent – the first week with surplus rainfall this year. But seasonal rainfall remained 4 per cent short of normal (till June 24) after touching the normal figure for a day on Thursday. So far, India has recorded 115.2mm rainfall.On the monsoon’s further advance, Khole said that there was no progress likely during the next three to four days. This means that the monsoon would reach Delhi only around the normal onset date, which is June 30.Meanwhile, the Met department has warned of thunderstorms with moderate intensity rainfall over Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on June 27 and 28. Rainfall will continue along the west coast during the next five days.

Deficient June rainfall deals blow to kharif sowing