Indian farmers have so far cultivated summer-sown crops on 99.87 million hectares, up 2 percent from a year ago, as good rainfall in June accelerated sowing. Planted crops in some southern and western states are under stress due to poor rains in July and August. Crop yields could fall as monsoon rains are likely to be below the prior forecast of 88 percent of the long-term average. Good rainfall this year is key to boosting a rural economy hit by delayed and lower rainfall last year, as well as keeping a lid on food inflation and giving India’s central bank more scope to cut lending rates.
Though agriculture accounts for about 15 percent of India’s $2-trillion economy, three-fifths of its 1.25 billion people depend on it for their livelihood.