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27/06/24 | 6:15 pm | monsoon | Rain in India

Monsoon set to cover entire nation on schedule: IMD

India’s annual monsoon has covered more than three-fourths of the country and is poised to envelop the entire nation on schedule for the planting season, despite earlier delays this month, according to two officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday.

Summer rains, crucial for economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy, typically begin in the south around June 1 and spread nationwide by July 8, allowing farmers to sow crops like rice, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.

“Monsoon is progressing rapidly in northern India and will cover the entire country on time,” an IMD official said.

The southwest monsoon advanced on Thursday, extending over more parts of Rajasthan, most of Madhya Pradesh, additional areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and nearly all of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, as per an IMD statement.

Since June 1, the country has received 19% less rainfall, IMD data revealed, due to the monsoon’s earlier slowdown, causing most regions except a few in the south to experience deficits, with parts of the northwest enduring heatwaves.

As the lifeline of India’s nearly $3.5-trillion economy, the monsoon delivers nearly 70% of the rain required to irrigate farms and replenish reservoirs and aquifers.

Without irrigation, nearly half of the farmland in the world’s second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, and sugar relies on the annual rains that typically span from June to September.

“Rainfall is intensifying, and most parts of the country will receive ample rain over the next fortnight, accelerating the sowing of summer-sown crops,” another weather official commented.

The current rainfall deficit is expected to significantly narrow by mid-July, he added.

(Reuters)

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