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India's low level of monsoon rains hits farmers


A lack of rain could take a heavy toll on India
A lack of rain could take a heavy toll on India

The Canadian Press

August 3, 2012 — India's Meteorological Department says the country is expected to receive 10 per cent less rain than normal during this year's June-to-September monsoon season.

That will take a heavy toll on farmers and swell their demand for power to run irrigation pumps to keep their fields watered.

The country already is struggling to meet heavy summer demand for power, with three regional grids failing earlier this week in a blackout that affected a swath of India with about 620 million people.

Several Indian states have declared near-drought conditions and are demanding federal funds to help farmers cope.

About 60 per cent of India's population works in agriculture. The sector contributes up to 20 per cent of India's gross domestic product, and more than half India's farmlands are rain-fed.

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