Mumbai: India is likely to see average monsoon rains this year, the state-run weather office said on Friday, which should support agricultural production and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.

Monsoon rainfall is expected to be 96% of the long-term average (LPA), 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 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June.

In July, the country could receive 95% rainfall of LPA, while in August rains could 99% of LPA, it said.

The monsoon season delivers about 70% of India's annual rainfall and is key to the success of the farm sector in Asia's third-biggest economy.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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