Monsoon arrives; farm output prospects brighten

NEW DELHI Wed Jun 6, 2012 7:53am IST

People stand on a seaside promenade against the background of pre-monsoon clouds gathered over the Arabian Sea at Kochi in Kerala June 4, 2012. REUTERS/Sivaram V

People stand on a seaside promenade against the background of pre-monsoon clouds gathered over the Arabian Sea at Kochi in Kerala June 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's annual monsoon rains have arrived at the southern Kerala coast, a top weather official said on Tuesday, brightening prospects of higher farm output by aiding farmers to plant summer-sown crops such as rice, soybean and cotton on time.

"It's been raining in Kerala for the past few days, but the parameters suggest that the monsoon has arrived today," B.P. Yadav, a director at the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) told Reuters.

The annual rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth as about 55 percent of the arable land is rain-fed, and farm sector accounts for about 15 percent of a nearly $2-trillion economy, Asia's third-biggest.

India is the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton and also one of the largest consumers, with a population of about 1.2 billion.

Another senior weather office official, who declined to be named, said he expected monsoon rains to make good progress in the western Indian coast - in coffee, tea, rubber and cane areas - in next 2-3 days.

The IMD has forecast average rains in 2012, for the third straight year.

Monsoon - actual vs official forecasts link.reuters.com/far67s

Monsoon and key summer food crops link.reuters.com/nez58s

Monsoon rains and sugarcane output link.reuters.com/mez58s

"We are sticking to our forecast of a normal monsoon," Yadav said, adding, the IMD would review its forecast around June 25 after the rains cover half of the country.

The June-September rainy season starts over the Kerala coast and covers the rest of India and neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal by mid-July.

Last week, weather officials said a cyclonic pressure over the Arabian Sea has delayed the rains, give or take 4 days, from its expected June 1 arrival date.

In 2011, the IMD had forecast the onset of monsoon on May 31, but the rains arrived two days ahead of the estimate.

(Reporting by Ratnajyoti Dutta and Mayanak Bhardwaj; editing by Malini Menon)

FILED UNDER:

Monetary Policy Committee

Reuters Showcase

Microfinance

Microfinance

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

Insurance Sector

Insurance Sector

UK healthcare firm Bupa sees strong growth in India  Full Article 

Sensex Rises

Sensex Rises

Sensex edges up; consumer and healthcare stocks rise  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

FTSE adds nine Indian firms as large-caps in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index   Full Article 

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB raises growth forecasts, to start printing money next week  Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

China signals "new normal" with lower annual growth target  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

Panel recommends waiving late-stage trials for some drugs  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage