Monsoon has covered more than a third of India and could spread further into eastern and western regions this week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday.
The rains are critical for farming, which makes up about 15 per cent of Asia’s third-biggest economy at a size of nearly $2 trillion, since about 55 per cent of arable land in the south Asian nation is rain-fed.
“Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into more parts of the central Arabian Sea and Maharashtra,” the IMD said.
In the next 48 hours, the monsoon would also advance into some more parts of the eastern states of Odisha and West Bengal. Maharashtra is India’s second biggest producer of cotton, soybean and sugar, while West Bengal is the top rice producer. The monsoon’s progress will help farmers speed up sowing of summer crops such as soybean, cotton, rice, and pulses.
Since the season began on June 1, the rains brought by the monsoon have been 32 per cent greater than normal, weather department data shows, particularly as a cyclone, Nisarga, brought heavy rain last week to the west coast.
India is likely to receive above average monsoon rain for the second straight year in 2020, the IMD said this month.