by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) June 5, 2012
The annual monsoon, crucial to India's food production and economic growth, arrived Tuesday on the southwest coast four days behind schedule, the meteorological department said.
Monsoon rains were recorded in the state of Kerala and will now sweep across India, bringing torrential downpours over the coming months to millions of farmers who rely on the seasonal precipitation.
"The monsoon arrived in Kerala today and it will now progress along the country's western coast," Indian Meteorological Department director B.P. Yadav told AFP.
Yadav said the strength of the rains on Tuesday was "moderate", while long-term forecasts have predicted an average monsoon this year.
The rains normally hit the southwest coast on June 1 and last until the end of September.
Indian agriculture gets 60 percent of its precipitation from the rains and a bad monsoon can spell financial disaster for the country's 235 million farmers.
While agriculture's share of India's economy has shrunk to 14 percent from 30 percent in the early 1990s, bountiful rains are still vital to national economic fortunes.
Rural spending accounts for more than 50 percent of domestic consumption and a poor monsoon hits demand for everything from refrigerators to cars.
The government is banking on a good monsoon to rein in surging food prices, as it also needs a good agricultural performance to spur recent dire growth figures.
Official figures published this month showed the Indian economy growing at 5.3 percent in the January-March period, the slowest quarterly growth figure in nine years.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Syrian refugees draining water-poor Jordan dry
Amman (AFP) June 1, 2012
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled from carnage and violence at home to neighbouring Jordan are draining the desert kingdom's meager water resources, officials and experts say. It is a new challenge for Jordan, one of the world's 10 driest countries, where desert covers 92 percent of its territory and the population of 6.7 million is growing by 3.5 percent a year. The tin ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|