Fears of drought loom as monsoon rainfall deficit widens to 10%

  • Reuters, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 09:49 IST
Farmers sow their paddies in their fields, in Noida, India. India is one of the largest Rice cultivators accounting for the 20 percent of the worlds output. Farmers are expecting good monsoon rains this year with which rice production is expected to be good which could help bring relief to Asia's third-largest economy in its battle with high food prices. (Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

Raising fears of the first drought in six years, the weather department on Monday said India's monsoon rainfall deficit had widened to 10% as a strengthening El Nino weather pattern trimmed rainfall.

The June-September monsoon rains determine farmers' earnings as more than half of farm land lacks irrigation.

Though agriculture accounts for about 15% of India's $2 trillion economy, three-fifths of its 1.25 billion people depend on it for their livelihood.

The rainfall is likely to remain subdued even this week over most parts of the country, a weather department official said, raising concerns over output from summer-sown crops such as cotton, oilseeds, paddy and pulses.

Read:Monsoon deficient by 9% so far, uneven spread a worry

Month to go, monsoon will remain weak in Mumbai, Maharashtra

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