Aurangabad: Monsoon is likely to revive by the end of next week, leading to further stress on the agricultural sector in Marathwada.
In some of the worst affected areas, kharif crops are projected to suffer upto 50% loss in productivity due to the poor rainy season.
As per forecast, Marathwada could witness only intermittent showers during the next few days, with the possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall by August 18.
While rain deficiency in the region has shot up to 85% during August, progressive deficit since the beginning of the rainy season in June has almost touched 40% mark.
Shriniwas Aundhkar, director of Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s Centre for Astronomy said that Marathwada has to wait for a few more days for the revival of monsoon.
A depression that has been developing over the Bay of Bengal, is likely to move north-west, generating rainfall in Marathwada and a few other parts of the state, by next week. The developing weather systems could gradually bring light showers in between, he said.
Kharif crops from several parts of the region are said to be under threat due to low rainfall in Marathwada during August. The entire region has reported only 14% normal rainfall during the third month of the rainy season.
Jalna (4.3%), Aurangabad (5.6%) and Parbhani (8%) are the three Marathwada districts that have reported lowest showers in August, followed by Osmanabad (12%), Latur (13.9%), Hingoli (14.7%), Beed (15.8%) and Nanded (35.9%).
Marathwada had a good start to the rainy season with around 118% normal rainfall reported in June. It was the highest rains among six divisions in the state, in the current rainy season. The second month of rainy season witnessed a dramatic lull in rainfall. The region reported 37% normal rainfall in July.
According to an official report, Aurangabad division of the state agricultural department has painted a grim picture of the condition of kharif crops in some revenue circles, where rainfall deficiency is in excess.
Some revenue circles could witness drops in kharif yield in the range of 25% to 50%, taking into account the poor monsoon in July and August. The moisture in the soil has gone down considerably in areas where rainfall activity has been weak. Therefore growth of crops has been affected adversely, a senior agricultural officer said quoting the findings of the report.
As per the report, Aurangabad division of agricultural department has reported sowing of different crops on 47.16 lakh hectare during the current kharif season.
The report, in its summary, specifically mentions imminent agricultural crisis in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district, among a few other places. Paithan taluka, which has received only 0.5% normal rainfall, is feared to have already suffered irrevocable damage to cotton spread cultivated on 2,200 hectare, mung bean cultivated on 1,226 hectare and black gram cultivated on 39 hectare.