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India's puny monsoon sparks fears of drought

Published on Aug 3, 2012 11:16 AM
 
An Indian farmer walks past dried out fields in the village of Kherikhummar, in the northern state of Haryana on July 26, 2012. India's monsoon rains that lash the country each summer arrived late and have been feeble this year, leading to hardship for hundreds of millions of farmers. -- PHOTO: AFP

KHERIKHUMMAR, India (AFP) - India's monsoon rains that lash the country each summer arrived late and have been feeble this year, leading to hardship for hundreds of millions of farmers.

The much-romanticised annual downpour that normally sweeps in at the start of June in the far south of the country is a lifeline for him and about two thirds of the 1.2 billion people who depend on agriculture for their incomes.

But the rains have been so poor that some farmers have decided not to sow crops, spelling more bad news for a slowing economy buffeted by its worst power crisis this week following massive blackouts.

"My fields are completely dry. There have been no rains and I have no artificial irrigation facility to be able to grow food grains," Mr Rameshwar Dayal a villager from Kherikhummar, in the northern state of Haryana.

 
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