MUMBAI Monsoon rains are expected to arrive on southern Kerala coast by June 7, about a week later than usual, the country's weather office said on Sunday.
The monsoon season delivers 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, which is crucial for agriculture and economic growth that has been hampered by back-to-back droughts.
About half the country's farmland lacks irrigation, and farmers have blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for a slow response after the droughts ravaged their crops in 2014 and 2015.
Two-thirds of India's population depends on farming.
The meteorological department expected a "slight delay" in the arrival of the rains, it said in a statement. In April, it had forecast an above average monsoon for the year.
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; editing by John Stonestreet)
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Published Date: May 15, 2016 17:15 PM | Updated Date: May 15, 2016 17:15 PM