Mumbai: India's monsoon rainfall deficit has widened to 10 per cent as a strengthening El Nino weather pattern trimmed rainfall, the weather department 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 India'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.
© Thomson Reuters 2015