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Monsoon’s Delay Has Indian Farmers on Edge After Two Droughts

  • Farmers need rain immediately to ease acute water shortage
  • Monsoon to arrive one week late, may be above average in 2016
Women fish in open waterlogged fields in Dhinkia , Jagatsinghpur District, Odisha India, on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
Updated on

Time is running out for the 70 acres of sugar cane and fruit that Balasaheb Pandharinath Shende farms in India’s Maharashtra state. After two years of drought, his fields are parched and his wells have dried up.

Monsoon rains that usually arrive this time of year should help, but the government says they will be at least a week later than normal. That has some growers worried, even though the India Meteorological Department forecasts the rainy season will eventually produce above-normal moisture for the first time since 2013.