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Monsoon rainfall deficit widens to 10%: IMD

Reuters     August 17, 2015

The monsoon rainfall deficit has widened to 10 per cent as a strengthening El Nino weather pattern trimmed rainfall, the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) said, raising fears of the first drought in six years.

The June-September monsoon rains determine farmers' earnings as more than half of farm land lacks irrigation. Though agriculture accounts for about 15 per cent of the country's $2 trillion economy, three-fifths of its 1.25 billion people depend on it for their livelihood.

The rainfall is likely to remain subdued even this week over most parts of the country, a weather department official said, raising concerns over output from summer-sown crops such as cotton, oilseeds, paddy and pulses.

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