India receives above normal rains this week, spurring crop planting

Economy


MUMBAI: India‘s monsoon rains in the week ending on Wednesday were above average for the first time since the start of the season on June 1, helping farmers to accelerate the planting of summer-sown crops and easing concerns of drought.

Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth, as about 55% of India’s arable land is rain-fed, and agriculture forms about 15% of a $2.5-trillion economy that is the third biggest in Asia.

India received 28% more rainfall than the 50-year average in the week to July 10, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed.

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Soybean- and cotton-growing central India received 38% more rainfall in the week, while the rice growing southern states got 20% less rainfall.



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