Drought 2009: Overview and management – A report by the Ministry of Agriculture

This document on the management of drought during 2009 published by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture presents the deficiency and erratic behavior of rainfall, impact of drought, mitigation efforts initiated and their results. During the deficient and erratic rainfall of South-West monsoon 2009, fourteen States declared drought/ drought like situation/ scarcity in 338 districts of the country.

In the report, the efforts made by the Central and State Governments have been documented and presented in two parts. The first part gives an overall perspective on the various initiatives taken by the Central Government and the second part dwells on the drought situation in the States and action taken by them to tackle the situation.

Some of the highlights of the drought 2009 were –

  • There was hiatus in the advance of monsoon from 8th to 20th June. Cyclone Aila which occurred over the Bay of Bengal at the end of May disturbed the normal monsoon pattern just after its setting in and distorted the system completely.
  • For the country as a whole, the rainfall for the season (June to September) was 78 per cent of its Long Period Average (LPA). Seasonal rainfall was 65 per cent of its LPA over North West India, 80 per cent of its LPA over Central India, 94 per cent of its LPA over South Peninsula and 77 per cent of its LPA over East and North East India.
  • Monthly rainfall had 53 per cent of LPA in June, 96 per cent of LPA in July, 73 per cent of LPA in August and 80 per cent of LPA in September.
  • Out of 511 meteorological districts for which data were available, 217 districts (42 per cent) of the meteorological districts received excess/normal rainfall and the remaining 294 districts (58 per cent) received deficient/scanty rainfall during the season.
  • Lack of clouds and rainfall and clear skies in Northern India raised air temperature during the second fortnight of June damaging crops, and vegetables and had adverse effects on milch animals, especially cross-bred cows.
  • There was great demand for electricity and diesel (energy) from the states.

The various proactive steps taken by the government for reducing the losses suffered by farmers were –

  • More employment was created under MNREGS;
  • A National Calamity Fund was created;
  • A diesel subsidy scheme was introduced to provide supplementary irrigations to farmers to save the standing crop;
  • Additional allocation of power was made to the states from the central pool to improve the power supply situation in the rural areas.

The document would prove useful to the relief administrators and policy makers.


Post By: Amita Bhaduri