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Crop Sowing Delayed in Some Parts of India Due to Weak Rains

The weakest monsoon rainfall in three years is delaying sowing of rice, oilseeds and lentils in several parts of India, Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahuguna told reporters in New Delhi today.

The deficient rains may prompt growers to shift to corn from peanuts in some parts, he said. The worst affected by the below-average rainfall are Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan states, he said.

The area under all the monsoon-sown crops fell 14 percent to 53.4 million hectares from a year earlier, the agriculture ministry said yesterday. Monsoon, which accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, is the worst since 2009 when showers were 22 percent less than a 50-year average.

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