Below-average southwest monsoon in June in key growing areas could affect pulses output in 2012-13 kharif season but rice production is unlikely to be affected, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Friday.
India received 30% less rains than normal since the beginning of the monsoon season on June 1. The June-September rains were 49% below average in the week through July 4, widening the 18% shortfall in the previous week.
The agriculture sector accounts for ~15% of the nearly US$2 trillion Indian economy, Asia's third-biggest.
Monsoon rains revived over cane, oilseeds and cotton areas of India's western region, officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. There had been increased rainfall over states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the past 24 hours, S.C. Bhan, a director at the IMD, was quoted as saying.
The rains would now move to the northwestern region, Bhan said.
Southwest monsoon rainfall should improve next week, Pawar said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, New Delhi experienced pre-monsoon showers on Friday with the IMD forecasting more rains later in the day.
"The pre-monsoon showers have started in Delhi, but actual monsoon rains are expected to begin only by the weekend," an official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Monsoon generally reaches Delhi by June 29 every year.
On Thursday, the monsoon currents advanced into some parts of Gujarat, remaining parts of Madhya Pradesh, most parts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and some parts of east Rajasthan.
The northern limit of monsoon was passing through Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Kota, Dholpur, Bareilly, Dehradun, Shimla and Jammu on Thursday evening.
The IMD predicted that the conditions are favourable for further advancement of monsoon in remaining parts of UP, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and some parts of Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan during the next 2-3 days.