New Delhi: India’s annual monsoon rains, vital in determing farm output and rural spending in the trillion-dollar economy, are likely to be better in 2008 than last year, a weather department source told Reuters on Wednesday.
Last year, the monsoon rainfall was slightly higher than the long-term average. The monsoon rains usually fall between June to September.
The official forecast is expected to be announced later in the day.
Scattered-to-isolated rains fell on northern parts of India this week, including the bread-basket states of Punjab and Haryana, under the influence of a western disturbance, the meteorological department said on its website.
Rainfall was excess or normal in 27 meteorological subdivisions and deficient or scanty in nine out of 36 subdivisions between March 1 and April 9, the department said.
With only 40% of India’s cultivable land irrigated, the monsoon is an important influence on rural output and farm incomes. Good rains mean sufficient soil moisture for crops, mainly wheat and oilseeds, sown in the winter and harvested from March.
Last year’s wheat output was around 75 million tonnes, helped by the rains.