India receives lowest rains in 5 years, agricultural production to be hit
India's monsoon rainfall this year was its lowest since 2018 as the El Nino weather pattern made August the driest in more than a century, the state-run weather department said on Saturday.
The monsoon, which is vital for India's $3 trillion economy, brings nearly 70% of the rain the country needs to water crops and replenish reservoirs and aquifers.
Nearly half of the farmland in the world's most populous nation lacks irrigation, making the monsoon rains even more vital for agricultural production.
The summer rainfall deficit could make staples such as sugar, pulses, rice and vegetables more expensive and lift overall food inflation.
Lower production could also prompt India, the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, and sugar, to impose more curbs on exports of these commodities.
Rainfall over the country during June to September was 94% of its long period average, the lowest since 2018, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.