Monsoon: El Nino may stall PM's plans of development in agriculture

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New Delhi, June 28:  With a weak monsoon tailing in India, crop sowing has also been delayed, magnifying the possibility of an increased price of food commodities. Rainfall is 38 percent below a 50-year average since June 1, the least since 2009, according to the Indian Meteorological department.

B.P. Yadav, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre said that monsoon stalled over India's western and central regions and is not likely to move ahead before the beginning of July. With more than 80 percent of India getting limited rain, delayed sowing may spill water on PM Narendra Modi's plans for revival.

This may take a toll on the ocuntry GDP, 14% of which is contributed by the agricultural sector. Moreover, 833 million people out of 1.2 billion population depend on agriculture.

Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings & Research Pvt., Fitch's local unit, said,"If July rain turns out to be the way it has behaved in June, then there will be issues. June and July are the two months which are very critical for sowing."

Monsoon is the main source of irrigation for India's 263 million farmers as about 55 percent of crop land is rain dependent. While showers have been deficient so far, a revival by the first week of July may accelerate planting, said J.S. Sandhu, India's Agriculture Commissioner.

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