Monsoon boon for India

Thursday 23rd Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

With the terrible news of the flooding that this years monsoon has caused - especially in Pakistan –  dominating the headlines, it is easy to forget that this annual sub-continental deluge is actually a good thing. Well over a billion people depend on the reliability of this weather system, with India in particular heavily dependant on the regular arrival of this weather event.

In stark contrast to the devastation caused to is northern neighbour the Indian Agriculture Ministry has deemed 2010 to be a good monsoon year. They expect country’s grain production for the 2010-11 crop year to equal, or even exceed, the 2008-9 levels which were the best for many years, producing about  234.5 million tonnes of grain.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told journalists. “The good southwest monsoon will be favourable to the wheat crop next year. The reservoirs are full; the storage in the Bhakra dam, for instance, has not been like this in the past 30 years. Our expectation is that 2010-11 will be a bumper crop year.”

The high projections have lead to suggestions that Pakistan might like some of the aid coming from India to arrive as food as opposed to financial aid. Much of the agricultural damaged caused by the recent floods could take years to repair, compromising Pakistan’s ability to produce its own food for some considerable time. An Indian government spokesman said that the idea would be considered if an official request was received from either Pakistan or any of the other flood hit countries in the region.