India's rice planting lags last year after low rainfall

Cotton, soybean and sugar cane growing states in central India received as much as 54% lower rainfall than normal in June, according to data compiled by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Farmers plant rice saplings in a paddy field
Farmers plant rice saplings in a paddy fieldReuters

MUMBAI: India received 8% lower rainfall than average in June because of scanty rainfall in the central parts of the country, the state-run weather office said on Thursday.

Cotton, soybean and sugar cane growing states in central India received as much as 54% lower rainfall than normal in June, according to data compiled by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The monsoon - which accounts for nearly 70% of India's annual rainfall and is the lifeblood of its $2.7 trillion agriculture-dependent economy - arrived on the coast of southern Kerala state on May 29, two days ahead of usual. Its progress later stalled for over a week.

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