India’s monsoon turned surplus in the past week as rains revived in the grain bowl northwest region, soya-bean belt and cotton areas, after a three-week lull, the weather office said on Thursday.
Rains were 24 per cent above average in the week to September 3 from the previous week’s 22 per cent gap. Rains had been poor for three weeks in a row till August 27.
“The monsoon is expected to continue its wet run next week,” said B P Yadav, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre at the India Meteorological Department.
The annual monsoon rains are vital as over half of India’s farmlands lack irrigation, and the farm sector accounts for 14 per cent of the national economy.
Following the revival, the seasonal rain during June 1 to September 3 was 15 per cent below average, shrinking the gap from 18 per cent in the previous week.
Monsoon rain in India is the leading determinant of rural spending on consumer goods ranging from lipstick to cars as two-thirds of its 1.2 billion people live in villages. Its failure pushes up food prices.
India is one of the world’s leading producers of farm commodities such as rice, sugar, soya bean and cotton that are directly dependent on the seasonal rains for production.