India receives 42% more rains than average this week - weather office

FILE PHOTO: A woman takes photographs with her mobile phone against the backdrop of monsoon clouds at a beach in Kochi, June 8, 2019. REUTERS/Sivaram V/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s monsoon rains in the week ending on Wednesday were above average for the second time since the start of the season on June 1, helping farmers accelerate the planting of summer-sown crops and easing concerns of drought.

Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth, as about 55% of India’s arable land is rain-fed, and agriculture forms about 15% of a $2.5-trillion economy that is the third biggest in Asia.

India received 42% more rainfall than the 50-year average in the week to July 31, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed.

Overall, India has received 9% less rain than average in the first half of June-September monsoon season.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; editing by Uttaresh.V