Preparing for a Good Monsoon: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, April 19, 2017: The IMD has predicted that this year’s southwest monsoon is likely to be normal. As far as agriculture is concerned, the following information will be needed in order to derive benefit from a good monsoon.
A good monsoon is measured by the total rainfall. For farmers, information on the date of onset of soaking rains, as well as the interspell duration between two rainy days, will be needed. Also the moisture holding capacity of the soil will be an important factor in getting full benefit from adequate rainfall. This is particularly because the average temperature is tending to rise.
IMD predicts that the monsoon may not be affected by El Nino conditions. The impact of El Nino is likely to be felt during the later part of the monsoon season.
To take advantage of the availability of water, it is important to initiate anticipatory measures such as the choice of crops and farming systems and post-harvest management
Eternal vigilance is essential in the case of monsoon management. Long interspell duration will have an adverse impact although the total rainfall for the year may be satisfactory. We should train a cadre of Monsoon Managers in every block to maximise the benefits of a good monsoon and minimise loss arising from erratic monsoon behaviour. We can then take full advantage of the predicted good monsoon.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.