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Mizoram witnesses lowest rainfall in ten years
Published on 12 Nov. 2009 10:58 PM IST
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Mizoram, known for adequate rainfall, has this year experienced the highest rain deficit in ten years. According to Padmashree C Rokhuma, who has been conducting his private observatory since 1991, the state recorded 40.75 inches of rainfall from June to October this year, the lowest in the last ten years, stated a UNI report. The state received 59 inches of timely rainfall in 2000 resulting in a bumper harvest. Adequate rainfall of 59.10 inches were recorded in the following year with slight changes in the climatic condition which did not leave negative impact on the agriculture, he said. “The rainfall slightly decreased to 57.50 inches in 2002 which badly affected orange plantation. However, we received 78.50 inches of rain in 2003 which resulted in good harvest in rice and other locally grown vegetables,’’ Mr Rokhuma stated. The local scientist also said that the state received 63 inches of rain in 2004, which plummeted to 48.90 inches in 2005 and 47.75 inches in 2006. “Despite 68.25 inches and 52.30 inches of rainfall respectively in 2007 and 2008, the state witnessed sharp fall in rice production due to the cyclic bamboo flowering locally referred to as Mautam which had resulted in population boom for rodents which attacked paddies,’’ Rokhuma said.According to him, during this year, in the month of June alone there was a mere 8.50 inches rainfall, 9.25 inches in July, 9.50 inches in August, 8.50 inches in September while in October the state recorded only 5.0 inches. “The average rainfall so stands at 40.75 inches which is the lowest in ten years,’’ Rokhuma added. According to officials, at least 40 per cent of the wet rice cultivation areas in Mizoram have been affected by the long spell of drought this year and 1,990 families failed to till their lands due to late advent of monsoon. As per assessment made in every district by DAOs, 28 families in Aizawl district, 696 in Champhai district, 389 in Lunglei district, 124 in Saiha district, 143 in Mamit district, 181 in Kolasib district, 33 in Lawngtlai district and 396 in Serchhip district could not till their lands this year because of deficit in rainfall. “Earlier, we predicted that more than 59 per cent of our target harvest would be lost, but due to better rainfall during the later part of July, the damage was estimated to only 40 per cent and the state government decided not to declare Mizoram as drought-hit,’’ he told the state Assembly recently.

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