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Indian meteorologists have forecast normal rains for the 2011 monsoon season, strengthening the prospect for a good output on the agricultural front. If the predictions are accurate, the weather will bring relief to Asia's third-largest economy, as it continues to battle high food prices.
Indian meteorologists have forecast normal rains for the 2011 monsoon season. It has strengthened the prospect of a good farm output that could help bring relief to Asia's third-largest economy in its battle with high food prices.
India's federal Minister of Earth Sciences made the announcement in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Monsoon forecasts hold significant political implications in India, where more than 60 percent of voters are in rural communities and form the bulk of the government's support base.
Bad rainfall results put political pressure on the government. Farmers demand higher rates for their produce and ask bureaucrats to waive loan repayment and electricity charges, impacting public finances.
[Pawan Kumar Bansal, Federal Minister of Earth Sciences]:
"The season of southern and western monsoon is from June to September. This year, it is expected that the rains would be normal, that is, they would be between 96 and 104 of the long term average."
A failed monsoon can force India into the international markets as a buyer, which occurred in 2009, a year when initial forecasts were calling for normal rains.
Good rainfall would boost food output in India, one of the world's top consumers and producers of a range of agricultural commodities, and also help governments throughout Asia to battle food inflation.