Monsoon to arrive in 3-4 days, misses forecast

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Thiruvananthapuram ,(Kerela) May 31 :Monsoon is expected to reach Kerala in the next 3-4 days, missing an earlier forecast but largely in line with the long-term average, meteorological official said on Saturday.

Weather officials had earlier predicted that the June-September monsoon, which irrigates 60 percent of the cultivated land, plays a major role in promoting farm sector and overall GDP growth, may arrive early, on May 29.

Sufficient rains will aid a good harvest of rice, soybean and groundnut crops, supporting the Central Government's fight to tame inflation ruling at 3-1/2year high fuelled by a sharp rise in food prices.

"The northwest wind blows only at a height of 1.9 kilometer. That is taken as a standard. This wind speed is not too much. You can expect a moderate rainfall. There may be some areas receiving heavy rain but not all. The rainfall will increase gradually and arrival of monsoons is expected in spells in 4-5 days," said M.P. Ramachandran, Director, meteorological department, Kerala.

The monsoon usually hits Kerala on June 1 and retreats in September, with normal rain forecasts this year. Weather officials are expected to update their estimates next month.

Stung by inflation, the Central Government has initiated a slew of measures to ease inflationary pressures, including cuts in import duties and export curbs on a host of commoditiesin an election year.

General elections are due by early next year.

Around 60 percent of the country's population earn their livelihood from agriculture.

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