New Delhi: India’s monsoon rains remain weak in the states of Bihar, the country’s leading corn producer, and Uttar Pradesh, which normally produces more than half of India’s sugarcane, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said on Friday.
The weather office has forecast only scanty rain in these regions in the next three days, and from 26 July it has predicted widespread rains only in northeastern India and the west coast.
India’s cotton, corn and oilseeds sowing was almost normal despite deficient monsoon rains this year, but sugarcane planting had dropped by 122,000 hectares from a year ago, Pawar told Parliament.
The June-September monsoon rains began with an exceptionally dry phase in the first five weeks, but rainfall has improved in the past two weeks in most parts of the country.
Total rainfall in India was 15% above normal in the week to 22 July, but was still 19% below normal for the 1 June-22 July period.