NEW DELHI Monsoon rains in India are expected to be 104% of a long-term average in August and September, the weather office said on Friday, indicating bumper harvests and helping to alleviate the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Crop-nourishing monsoon rains are expected to be 97% of a long-term average in August, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 88 centimeters for the entire four-month season beginning June.
Monsoon rains are critical for farm output and economic growth as about 55% of India’s arable land is rain-fed.
The farm sector employs more than half of India’s 1.3 billion population and accounts for nearly 14% of the $2.9 trillion economy, Asia’s third biggest.
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Farmers plant crops such as rice, corn, cane, cotton and soybeans in the rainy months of June and July, with harvests from October.
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