Monsoon covers entire India ahead of schedule: weather office

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2015 4:39 AM

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's monsoon has covered the entire country, the weather office said on Friday, more than two weeks ahead of the normal schedule in a year that is forecast to see below average rains.

The revival of monsoon rains in the grain bowl of northwest and central regions should help speed up the sowing of main summer crops such as rice, corn, soybeans and cotton.

Over a quarter higher rainfall since the start of the June-September season has eased concerns of a first drought in six years.

Rains are vital to India's farm sector, which accounts for about 15 percent of the country's nearly $2 trillion economy.

Two-thirds of its 1.2 billion population live in rural areas. Last year, monsoon rains covered the country two days behind the schedule, hitting crop output.

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)