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Published on Jun 11, 2012
Monsoon rains have stumbled again after a late onset and been confined to a narrow coastal belt for six days, delaying crop planting and giving jitters to the government that is counting on a good harvest to prop up the shaky economy and control prices. Rainfall in June has been 40% below normal so far, and officials say they are ready with contingency plans but are still expecting bumper harvests as the monsoon is expected to get back on track in 48 hours. But agricultural scientists say the dry patch is a concern as crops need heavy showers in the beginning of the season to be able to withstand drier weather in the subsequent months due to the possible occurrence of the dreaded El Nino phenomenon.