NEW DELHI - India is likely to have below-average monsoon rainfall in 2014, raising the possibility that drought could stoke inflation and hit a sluggish economy dependent on the elements because half the country's farmland lacks irrigation.
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PUNE India - India and its South Asian neighbours are expected to see below-average to average rains this year if the El Nino weather pattern gains strength during the four-month monsoon season, a forum of weather experts said on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI - India plans to expand its farmland under irrigation by at least a tenth in the next three years, potentially boosting grains output by an equal proportion in the world's second-biggest rice and wheat producer, a top government official told Reuters.
India expected to see below-average to average rains in 2014 if El Nino weather pattern gains strength
India suffered a severe drought in 2009 when monsoon rains failed due to El Nino
India's weather office rates as normal rainfall between 96 and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres
Poor monsoons could dent crop output in India - the world's No.2 rice and sugar producer
Healthy harvests can help keep a lid on food inflation
"There is a strong consensus about the possibility of evolution of an El Nino event during the summer monsoon season."
- D.S. Pai, lead forecaster of the Indian weather office