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IMD has forecast ‘normal’ monsoon in 2023

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IMD has forecast 'normal' monsoon in 2023

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Predicts Normal Monsoon in 2023

The IMD’s latest forecast indicates that India will experience “normal” monsoon conditions in 2023. This is welcome news for India’s agriculture sector, which heavily relies on the monsoon season for sufficient rainfall. IMD attributes the prediction to neutral conditions in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Monsoon plays a significant role in the Indian economy. Around two-thirds of India’s population is engaged in agriculture, and more than half the country’s farmland is unirrigated, meaning that a good monsoon is critical for the sowing of crops. Additionally, the formal definition of normal monsoon means rainfall between 96% to 104% of the long-period average. A deficient monsoon can lead to drought-like situations, severely impacting crop yields and leading to a rise in food prices.

What are Normal Monsoons?

IMD categorizes monsoons as normal, below-normal, and above-normal based on rainfall received. The average rainfall received from 1951 to 2000 is considered the long-period average. If the country receives 96% to 104% of the average rainfall, it is considered a normal monsoon. A monsoon is classified as below-normal or deficient if the rainfall is between 90% and 96% of the long-period average. If the country receives more than 104% of average rainfall, the monsoon is categorized as an above-normal or excessive monsoon.

Impact of Good Monsoon on the Economy

A good monsoon season is associated with a range of positive economic outcomes, particularly for the agriculture sector. Farmers are able to produce more crops and bring down food prices for consumers. Additionally, better crop yields can boost rural income, which contributes to a rise in demand for goods and services, leading to overall economic growth.

Agriculture contributes to around 15% of India’s GDP, and any shortfall in crop production can lead to a spike in food prices, which could impact the inflation rate. A good monsoon season also reduces the demand for water-intensive crops, which can help to conserve water resources.

Challenges for Agriculture Sector

Despite the positive forecast, the Indian agriculture sector faces a range of challenges. One of the biggest issues is the lack of proper irrigation facilities. Only about 45% of Indian farmland is irrigated, leading to heavy dependence on rainfall. Additionally, climate change has led to increased variability in monsoon patterns, making it harder to predict the season’s performance.

Moreover, agriculture in India is highly dependent on manual labor, leading to lower levels of productivity than many other countries. The sector also faces challenges such as poor infrastructure, including inadequate storage facilities, which often leads to post-harvest losses, harming farmers’ income.

Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

The agriculture sector has been less affected by the pandemic than other sectors such as manufacturing and services. However, COVID-19 has affected the supply chain, including the availability of labor. With millions of people migrating back to rural areas during the lockdown, there has been increased demand for work in agriculture, leading to labor shortages in other sectors.

The pandemic has also led to changes in consumer demand, with many people shifting towards healthier foods, such as vegetables and fruits, which could benefit the agriculture sector in the long run.


There is some relief for farmers and the agriculture sector in India this year with the prediction of normal monsoon conditions in 2023. However, the sector still faces several challenges, including the lack of proper irrigation facilities, climate change, and poor infrastructure. The pandemic has also created changes in the sector, presenting opportunities and challenges. The agriculture sector is critical to India’s economy and provides employment to millions of people. The government will need to continue investing in the sector to support farmers and ensure a sustainable food supply.

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