Environmental News from India:
India’s annual monsoon covered the entire country on Saturday, six days earlier than usual, the state-run weather office said, but rain totals are 5% below average so far this season.
The monsoon, critical for farm output and economic growth in the world’s second-most populous country, arrived on the coast of the southern Kerala state on May 29, a couple of days ahead of usual, yet after a promising start the rains gradually tapered off, clocking an 8% deficit in June.
Last month’s patchy rains slowed the planting of rice, an essential summer crop.
India’s rice farmers have planted 4.3 million hectares with the grain so far this season, down 27% from the same period last year.
The progress of the monsoon, which delivers about 70% of the country’s annual rainfall, is crucial for rice output and exports from India, the world’s biggest exporter of grain.
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