Monsoon rains in India have been 32% below average in the first week of the four-month season.
The country received 16.3mm of rainfall in the Jun 1-7 period, the India Meteorological Department said on its website on Thursday.
The four-month long season begins in June and ends in September.
Last week, weather officials said a cyclonic pressure over the Arabian Sea has delayed the rains, plus or minus 4 days, from its expected June 1 arrival date, reports added.
On Jun 5, rains had reached the mainland in southern Kerala, four days later than normal, according to the IMD.
“Rainfall activities have improved over the west coast and northeast region,” reports said citing a senior official of the IMD.
In India, where agriculture and farming account for 15% of the $2tn economy, timely and sufficient rainfall is extremely crucial as 55% of the arable land depends on rains for water needs.
"Farmers have started sowing rice, pulses and cotton in some areas and production prospects are still good as the monsoon is expected to be normal," reports said quoting A.K. Singh, deputy director-general of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
In the initial stages of the monsoon season, crops are not greatly affected by the volume of rain. However, by mid-July after the monsoon has covered the entire country, the distribution of rainfall is crucial for their growth.
Weather officials said the rains had arrived in west coast areas where cane, tea, coffee, rubber and cotton are planted, while growing areas in eastern India were still awaiting rain to expedite rice planting.
The monsoon rains reach the soybean growing areas of central India post the second week of June, by when half the country is covered by the rains.
The weather office is expected to release its outlook for the rest of the monsoon during the third week of June.