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India's rainfall deficit for the June-September monsoon season has widened to 6 per cent as of Wednesday, the highest since the season's start on June 1, data compiled by India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed.
The central state of Madhya Pradesh, and the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the north, as well as the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala have received rainfall that is over 20 per cent lower than normal.
The monsoon rains deliver about 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall and are critical for farmers because about half of their lands lack irrigation. Farming accounts for 15 per cent of India's $2 trillion economy and employs more than half of its 1.3 billion people.