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An Early and Likely Normal Monsoon Boosts India’s Crop Outlook

  • June-September rains seen 103% of long-term average this year
  • Monsoon arrives earlier than usual in southern Kerala state
Vehicles make their way against the backdrop of rain clouds on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Vehicles make their way against the backdrop of rain clouds on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Photographer: Manjunath Kiranjunath/AFP/Getty Images

The forecast of a normal monsoon, which arrived earlier than usual this year, is poised to encourage farmers to expand plantings of major crops, a welcome development as the government grapples with rising food prices.

The India Meteorological Department kept to its earlier prediction of a normal monsoon, which waters more than half of the country’s farmland. Cumulative rains are likely to be 103% of the long-term average during the four-month season this year, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the weather bureau, said in an online briefing on Tuesday. That compares with its April prediction of 99%. The forecast has a margin of error of 4%.