Namakkal this year has recorded its lowest rainfall in the past five years as the elusive monsoon left the people, particularly farmers, in tatters.
According to Dr A Natarajan, head, Agromet Advisory Services, Veterinary College and Research Institute, “The district has recorded only 502 mm rains so far in the calendar year, with 259.5 mm during the Northeast Monsoon, 160 mm in Southwest Monsoon and just 82.5 mm during the summer.”
While noting that this was the lowest aggregate rainfall in the past five years, he said that since 2008, when the district recorded 1,044.5 mm thanks to a bountiful North east monsoon (448.5mm), the rainfall was inadequate for the farming community and the public.
The normal rainfall in the district, which falls in the rain shadow region, was 900 mm. Last year, the total rainfall recorded was 814 mm while in 2010, it was 882.4 mm. in 2009 and 2008, the aggregate rainfall recorded was 537 mm and 1,044.5 mm respectively.
“The rainfall statistics show that the district got better quantity during the North east Monsoon with a combined total of 1,765.9 mm recorded in the last five years,” he explained.
Now, with the Northeast Monsoon miserably failing as did the Southwest Monsoon, the threat of drought loomed large and the farmers were apprehensive of the situation getting worse.
“The crops in the Rabi season have started to wither without adequate rains and lack of irrigation facilities. The farmers who are raising groundnut, tapioca, green gram and sugarcane are at the receiving end,” said K Sundaram, General Secretary, Tamilnadu Farmers Association.