Teji Mandi Explains: Revival is crucial for rural economy
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With improved rainfall during last week, the performance of the southwest monsoon has improved moderately. However, the country remains in a rain deficit for the season.

As of July 16, 2021, India's cumulative rainfall for the season was recorded at -7% from its levels in the previous week. The rainfall was at -8% as of July 11, 2021. Despite this improvement, rainfall remains below normal levels for the 11th straight day. It is in stark contrast from the start of the season where monsoons had begun with cumulative rainfall of +69%.

In region-wide distribution, the situation has improved marginally across all regions, except for the eastern. The monsoon deficit in the northern region has reduced from -23% last week to -19% as of July 16, 2021. The deficit in the central region has reduced from -9% to -8%, while in the Southern Peninsula, rain surplus has improved from +17% above normal, against just +7% as of July 16, 2021.

Water Reservoir Levels

As of July 15, 2021, the current reservoir level is at ~34% of live storage capacity vis-à-vis 41% last year. It is weaker than last year. But, it is still higher than the average of 28% seen during FY15-19 in the corresponding period.

In terms of storage capacity, the northern region has the least. Total live storage available at eight reservoirs was 4.09 BCM. It is 21% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Current storage in eastern, western, central, and southern regions is at 31%, 30%, 31%, and 42% of their capacities, respectively.

Kharif Sowing Up to Mid-Jul 2021

For irrigation purposes, reservoir levels are a critical indicator. Tracking monsoon and water reservoir levels are important for Kharif sowing and, in turn, the farm sector. Recent data shows the area sown during this Kharif season is down 12.3% YoY. This is the worst performance in the past six years.

Total 57% of the area is sown as of July 16, 2021, which is lower than 65% in the corresponding period last year. However, this is still better than pre-COVID years.

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