MONSOON rains reached India’s southernmost Kerala coast on Thursday (8), offering relief to farmers after a delay of more than a week, marking their latest arrival in seven years.
The monsoon, the lifeblood of the country’s $3 trillion economy, delivers nearly 70 per cent of the rain India needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers.
In the absence of irrigation systems, nearly half of India’s farmland depends on the June-September rains and their late arrival could delay the planting of rice, cotton, corn, soybean and sugar cane, traders said.
“Southwest Monsoon has set in over Kerala today, the 8th June, 2023, against the normal date of 1st June,” the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
This year, the IMD had expected the arrival of monsoon rains over the state’s coast on June 4, but the formation of a severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy in the Arabian Sea delayed their onset.
The IMD confirms the monsoon has begun after taking into account rainfall measured at weather stations in the southern state of Kerala and westerly wind speeds.
Conditions are favourable for the monsoon to further advance into the central Arabian Sea and some parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states, the IMD said.