“Monsoon” is a lifeline for an agriculture-based nation like India! Not only it boosts the agriculture and the groundwater level of the country but also crucial for the economy. Do you know that nearly 60% of India’s 1.4 billion population depends directly or indirectly on farming for livelihood? Aren’t you curious to know how are monsoons beneficial to India?
Also, according to the SBI research report, agriculture’s share of GDP is 18.8%. You must be wondering why the economy loves monsoons. And how are monsoons beneficial to India? Primarily because of its ample benefits. In this article, you will come to know about the benefits that monsoon confers to the Indian economy.
A Brief on Monsoons and its effect on the Indian Economy
Monsoon is a seasonal prevailing wind in the South Asian region. It is directly associated with rainfall and a humid climate in the tropical region. In India, the monsoon begins with rains in the coastal regions of Kerala in the first week of June. Later on, it covers the entire country by mid-July. To answer the question “How are monsoons beneficial to India?” we will look into the direct effects of monsoons on the economy and various sectors.
Direct Effects of monsoon on the Indian Economy
- Improves the demand-supply patterns– A successful monsoon boosts agriculture which increases the income for farmers. Thereby, it boosts the demand for FMCG goods, tractors, two-wheelers, farming machinery, etc. Consequently, it rolls out profits for the companies that have a huge market share in rural areas.
- Tempers inflation: Good rainfall leads to adequate food production that controls inflation.
- For RBI: The monsoon is a crucial variable in calibrating monetary policy
- For Government: A good monsoon restrains the government’s spending on farmers. Because in case of a monsoon shortfall, the government has to pay subsidies for farmers that affect the financial calculations of the nation.
Other than a direct influence on the economy, monsoons hold great significance in boosting various sectors of our nation. Monsoons are beneficial in India because it boosts the following sectors-
- Water Resources
- Energy & Power
Role of Monsoon in Crucial Sectors of India
Are you aware of the fact that nearly half of India’s farmland lacks manual methods of irrigation cover? They are fully dependent on annual June-September rains for irrigating their crops. Our economy gains massively if it rains adequately. Because a good monsoon results in a good yield of crops.
Significance of monsoon in Indian agriculture
As you know, the monsoon season delivers around 70% of the annual rainfall of that country which ultimately determines how successful the crop yield would be. The quality of rainfall determines the intensity of agricultural production. Hence, good rainfall leads to higher agricultural output and boosts economic growth. Also, it checks inflation. The arrival of the monsoon marks the beginning of the cultivation of rain-fed crops. These are mainly called “Kharif Crops” (July to September). Some of the major staple crops that grow in monsoon are-
- Rice– West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Punjab
- Cotton– Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh
- Sugarcane– Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttarakhand
- Tea– Assam, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu
- Pulses– Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana
Impact of monsoons on crop yields and production
In tropical and subtropical regions, monsoon is a crucial factor in determining crop yield and production, especially if the agriculture is rain-fed. Monsoons can have the following impacts on crop yield and production, depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the rainfall.
- An adequate supply of water: Monsoon brings in heavy rainfall, which helps replenish soil moisture, and also fills up the reservoirs and water bodies, which in turn can be used for irrigation throughout the year.
- Longer crop-growing season: Monsoon rain allows crops to grow for a more extended period, leading to increased vegetative growth and ultimately better yields.
- Increase in soil fertility: Heavy rainfall washes away the salts and other minerals from the soil and also helps in nutrient leaching, which increases soil fertility.
2: Water Resources
Monsoons are of utmost importance in replenishing water resources in India. Our economy is highly dependent on them as we receive more than 70% of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season. It typically lasts from June to September.
Importance of monsoon in replenishing water resources
- Replenishment of water resources: Monsoons are responsible for refilling the reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and groundwater resources in the country, which are the primary sources of water for domestic, agricultural, and industrial purposes. The water stored during the monsoon season serves as a “mass water storage” for the country, especially during the hot-dry summer months.
- Supporting the diverse ecosystem of the country: In addition to providing water for human consumption and agriculture, monsoons also play a crucial role in supporting the country’s diverse ecosystems, like forests, wetlands, and grasslands. These ecosystems rely on monsoons for their survival and to maintain their ecological balance.
Impact of water scarcity on the Indian economy
India’s heavy dependence on monsoons poses a significant risk. How? You may ask. Because weak monsoons can lead to droughts and famine. Consequently, it can have severe impacts on the country’s economy and food security. Climate change is not far behind either. It also affects monsoons, causing them to become more unpredictable and intense. This leads to harsh consequences like floods, and landslides in some regions and droughts in other regions.
A Way Forward
Overall, the significance of monsoons in replenishing water resources in India holds crucial importance. However, we should also invest in water management and conservation practices. So that we can ensure a sustainable water supply for our growing population and economy and to avoid water scarcity.
3: Energy & Power
Monsoons play a crucial role in the energy and power sector of India. It is a crucial contributor to India’s GDP and plays a vital role in economic growth. Also, it is essential for supporting industrial growth like battery manufacturing and providing electricity to households and businesses. The availability of electricity has a direct impact on health, education, and standard of living. The energy and power sector is going to expand in the future as its demand is continuously rising. The two key contributors to the energy and power sector of India are hydropower and thermal power.
Role of monsoon in generating hydropower
Do you know that a significant portion of the country’s electricity generation is dependent on hydropower? Hydropower plants generate electricity by harnessing the energy from falling water. Adequate monsoon rainfall boosts hydropower generation. Hydropower projects not only provide flood control but also ramp up the electricity production of the country at an affordable cost. During the monsoon season, the water levels in the rivers increase. Eventually, the water flow’s speed rises boosting the potential for hydropower generation. This increased water flow allows hydropower plants to generate more electricity. Thus, it helps to meet our increasing electricity demand.
Role of monsoon in generating thermal power
In addition to hydropower, monsoons also play a critical role in the thermal power sector. Don’t thermal power plants use coal to generate electricity? Yes, but they need water for cooling purposes. The high levels of humidity during the monsoon season can lead to an increase in the cooling efficiency of thermal power plants. Eventually, it helps to reduce the amount of water needed for cooling. Therefore, it is essential in areas of the country where water scarcity is a concern.
Monsoons play a significant role in promoting tourism in India, particularly in the southern and coastal regions. Here are some ways in which monsoons contribute to the growth of tourism in India:
- The scenic beauty of nature: The monsoon season transforms the landscape of India, making it a lush and green paradise. You might have observed that during the rainy season, the hills, forests, and waterfalls come alive. Thus, it becomes an ideal destination for nature lovers.
- Cultural tourism: It refers to a type of tourism where you travel to witness the festivals and events of a region to learn its culture and traditions. The monsoon season brings various festivals and events representing India’s rich cultural heritage. The most famous among them is the ‘Onam‘ festival celebrated in Kerala. Here, you can witness the traditional snake boat race and other cultural events along with graceful greenery.
- Adventure sports: It is highly popular among youths. Monsoon season is also the time when adventure sports enthusiasts can indulge in activities like river rafting, trekking, and hiking. The Western Ghats in India offers some of the best trekking and hiking trails that are accessible only during the monsoon season.
- Ayurvedic treatments: Do you know that the monsoon season is an ideal time for Ayurvedic treatments? Because the moist weather is perfect for rejuvenation therapies. The state of Kerala is especially famous for its Ayurvedic treatments. You can indulge in various treatments that detoxify the body and mind.
- Off-season discounts: Due to the off-season, many hotels and resorts offer discounted rates during the monsoon season, making it an affordable time to visit India. Thus, it attracts ample tourists from abroad.
Tourism plays a significant role in the Indian economy. It is a significant source of foreign exchange earnings in India. It helps in job creation as well as regional development. Also, it preserves the cultural heritage of India.
However, the tourism in monsoon is packed with severe challenges like safety concerns and weather-related disruptions. While touring in monsoons, you need to be extra cautious of natural calamities like landslides and floods as well as water-borne diseases.
A shortfall in the monsoon severely impacts consumer demand, farmers’ income, and financial markets. Therefore, a good monsoon is necessary for the development and sustainability of the $2 trillion Indian economy. We hope you got overall information about how are monsoons beneficial to India!