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Weather Activities likely to change over many areas of North and Central India

Fig. 1 Currently, a western disturbance is forming as a trough around Pakistan, accompanied by the formation of a cyclone in the upper part of northeastern Rajasthan. Additionally, a trough is developing from southeastern Madhya Pradesh to Tamil Nadu. Anti-cyclones are present in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, resulting in western wind direction and moisture influx from both bodies of water. As a result of the current western disturbance, light to moderate rainfall/snowfall is anticipated over Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh-Gilgit-Baltistan-Muzaffarabad and Himachal Pradesh for the next two days, and Uttarakhand for the next seven days. The weather in Rajasthan is expected to undergo changes for the next 2-3 days due to the influence of the western disturbance. Over the next two days, the western disturbance is expected to progress eastward. Concurrently, a new western disturbance is set to become active, leading to cloud cover over half of Madhya Pradesh region with a possibility of dri

Relief Package to boost Tobacco Exports

The recent devastation caused by the Michaung cyclone in December 2023 severely impacted the tobacco crop of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The heavy rains led to significant damage, including crop washing out, drowning, waterlogging, and wilting. Approximately 20% of the total planted area in affected regions suffered losses, posing challenges to tobacco farmers. In response to the crisis, the Central government has announced a relief package aimed at boosting exports and alleviating the financial burden on tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The relief measures include: 1. Interest-Free Loans in Andhra Pradesh:   The Government of India has approved interest-free loans of Rs. 10,000 from the Grower Welfare Fund of the Tobacco Board for affected grower members. This financial assistance is intended to support farmers whose crops were damaged due to the cyclonic rains. This one-time loan is specifically designated for the Andhra Pradesh Crop Season 2023-24 and will be r

We "BKC Aggregators" welcome Government's offer for farmers

Government Relents on MSP Issue, Proposes Five-Year Contract to Secure Fair Returns for Farmers and Promote Sustainable Agriculture The government has relented on the contentious issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP). The proposal involves a groundbreaking five-year contract aimed at stabilizing prices and ensuring fair returns for farmers cultivating pulses, maize, and cotton. This initiative comes at a crucial juncture, addressing long-standing grievances within the agricultural sector while also aligning with broader policy objectives of crop diversification and environmental sustainability. Major Points from the Meeting:  Union Cooperative Societies to Sign Five-Year Contracts: As per the proposal, the Cotton Corporation of India will enter a 5-year legal agreement with farmers to purchase the crops at MSP.  The government has brokered agreements with prominent Union cooperative societies such as the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural

Potential Transition from El Niño to La Niña: Normal Monsoon likely in 2024

Ø   The country is currently experiencing an El Niño period, but in the upcoming months, it is gradually expecting a move towards La Niña. In the coming months, it is anticipated that the present El Niño will settle off and become neutral. (Fig.1) Fig. 1 (Source: NOAA) Ø   The next six months could see the emergence of La Niña due to favourable conditions. Initial predictions indicate that by April–June, there is a 79% probability that persistent El Niño conditions would change to ENSO-Neutral. There is a 55% chance of La Niña conditions developing in the Pacific by June–August after the shift to ENSO-Neutral. Ø     One of the most significant effects of La Niña on India is its influence on the monsoon. Thus, a shift to La Niña may be advantageous for crops reliant on adequate rainfall, thus leading to improved soil moisture levels and better crop yields, potentially boosting agricultural productivity. Monsoon Forecast for 2024                                Fig. 2: March- May 2024 

Rainfall Forecast Feb to 5th March

A fresh Western Disturbance is expected to impact the Western Himalayan Region from this coming weekend (as shown in Fig. 1) and its effect will remain for next 5-6 days causing light to moderate rainfall/snowfall over Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh-Gilgit-Baltistan-Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and over Uttarakhand in coming 3-4 days. Light rainfall will also spill over to the adjoining northwestern plains of Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi and West Uttar Pradesh.  14  Feb- 20 Feb                       28 Feb-05 March Fig. 1 Under the influence of an anticyclone over the north Bay of Bengal, moisture is penetrating east-central India from the Bay of Bengal, resulting in moderate rainfall over some areas of East Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal etc. 2nd Half of February into March looks highly favourable for good precipitation for North western India, North India, central & East central India comprising states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, UP, Biha

Indian Wheat prices may look North - By Dr B K Singh

Fig. 1 In 2022-23, wheat exports were under OGL. In open trade, the global wheat prices dictated Indian prices. In face of Ukraine crisis, Global Wheat prices topped US $ 2100/MT. Indian prices too rose shortly from Rs. 2850 to Rs. 3200/quintal. After many years, farmers were able to get prices well above MSP. Fig. 2 It is when Government intervened and put restriction in Wheat exports. As a result, sharp decline in domestic prices of Wheat were seen. Global Wheat prices have since been declining as can be seen in Fig. 1. Domestic prices have however ruled steady despite several restrictions imposed for stock control. Dwindling stocks at the FCI and firm domestic demand has kept Indian prices steady. With El Nino looming large, lack of rains in January and higher temperature predicted in coming weeks could reduce the Wheat output. Market may continue to be firm for Wheat.

Will El Nino affect Wheat Production in India? - By Dr B K Singh & Purnima Nair

The winter months of December and January have witnessed an unusual absence of strong western disturbances (WDs) over North India. This deficiency, attributed in part to the El Niño conditions over the equatorial Pacific and a northward shift of the westerly jet stream. It has not rained in Jan 2024 so far. As of now in wheat producing area of North- Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, rain deficiencies have ranged 54% to 99%. This deficit, coupled with the absence of snowfall in higher elevations, raises concerns for the health of the Rabi crops, particularly wheat. Impact on Wheat Cultivation:  The Rabi crop, especially wheat, heavily relies on precipitation during the winter months. The deficiency in rainfall and snowfall may have implications for soil moisture levels, potentially affecting wheat germination and growth. In this current situation, ground water irrigation may offer some protection. What is more disturbing is the absenc

Climate change affecting Snowfall in Himalayas- Red Flag for Kharif 2024 - By Dr. B K Singh & Purnima Nair

  Fig. 1: Map Indicating Statewise Storage Position   (Source: CWC) Over the past five years, climate change has altered ground water availability, affecting the agricultural sector in India. Melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region and reduced snowfall has been witnessed. In Kharif season,(April to September) rainfall , plays a vital role in India's agricultural calendar and the success of Kharif crops depends heavily on monsoon. In absence of rainfall, ground water plays a major role in irrigation. The impact of climate change, coupled with the complex and variable nature of El Nino events, has led to a concerning pattern of reduced snowfall, affecting water availability for agriculture. Last monsoon was 8% deficient due to impact of El Nino. Western disturbances this year has been far and few. Low snowfall could spell serious shortage in ground water availability. As of January 11, 2024, data from the Reservoir Storage bulletin reveals that the total live storage of the count