A man walks through a street as it rains in Mumbai, India. – AP
A man walks through a street as it rains in Mumbai, India. – AP

NEW DELHI: The El Nino weather phenomenon is unlikely to reduce India's rains in July and August, Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak said on Friday, keeping adequate rainfall for growing crops in one of the world's major agricultural producers.

The Earth Sciences ministry oversees the weather department, which earlier on Friday retained its forecast for average rains during the June to September monsoon this year, allaying concerns raised by sparse rainfall in the last few weeks.

Nayak added that the monsoon was currently paused over central India but should pick up momentum from June 26 and cover the entire country by mid-July, on schedule.

About 55 per cent of arable land in India is rain-fed, making the monsoon crucial for agriculture, which accounts for about 15 per cent of the near $2 trillion economy.

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