Monsoon rains in the country were 24% below average in the week ended June 26, the weather office said on Thursday, as the seasonal rainfall was scanty over central and western parts of the country.
The rains are crucial for farming and economic growth as about 55% of the country's arable land is rain-fed, and the farm sector makes up about 15% of a nearly 2.5-trillion dollar economy, Asia's third-biggest.
The below-average rain has delayed sowing of summer crop such as rice, soybean and corn and threatens to curtail crop yields.Monsoon has delivered 36% lower-than-normal rain since the start of the season on June 1, due to a delay in the onset of monsoon rains, according to the India Meteorological Department.
Monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 8. However, Cyclone Vayu developed in the Arabian Sea drew moisture from the monsoon and weakened its progress