Refuting allegations of farmers’ welfare organisations regarding links between seed and fertiliser companies at the time of issuance of forecasts, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday clarified that its forecast for Maharashtra was realised as per the Long Range Forecast (LRF).
Last week, Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti from Beed district had sent a letter to IMD and threatened to lock up its officials on October 15 for alleged inaccurate forecasts issued for the farmers this monsoon. The farmers’ welfare group had also alleged that the Met department was favouring companies that sell fertiliser and seeds by issuing forecasts of good rainfall during the monsoon onset phase.
In a statement issued on October 14, the IMD said 13 districts in the state have received below normal rainfall while all the others have recorded normal rainfall this year, which was stated in the LRF. “Maharashtra, which falls under central India for long range assessments, has received season rainfall within normal range. All the other three subdivisions of Maharashtra received normal rainfall as indicated in the long range of IMD,” the statement read.
After the recently concluded southwest monsoon season, rainfall over Marathwada remained 665.4 mm, 22 per cent short of its normal for the season and has been categorised as “deficient”. The remaining three subdivisions — Konkan (-1 per cent), Madhya Maharashtra (-9 per cent) and Vidarbha (-8 per cent) — were stated to be under “normal” category.
This year, the all-India rainfall was 9 per cent short of the normal mark, mainly caused due to severe rain deficiency realised in the northeast region. “This is an exceptional deficient rainfall recorded over the north-east and this has brought the All-India rainfall to 9 per cent deficient,” the statement said.
Northeast India received only 76 per cent of its normal rainfall for the four-month season. While rainfall over South Peninsular India reported 3 per cent excess, other homogeneous regions were – Northwest India (- 2 per cent) and Central India (- 6 per cent).
The LRF issued for all other homogeneous regions had weather model error within the model predictions range, which means that the forecast was nearly accurate for this year’s monsoon.