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El Niño and the Indian summer Monsoon are inversely related. The monsoon is the main source of irrigation for India’s 235 million farmers and planting of crops from corn to soybeans are dependent on timely arrival of the seasonal rains as more than half of farm land is rain-fed. Agriculture represents about 14 percent of Asia’s third-largest economy, which is also the world’s second-largest producer of rice, sugar, cotton and wheat
El Niño years directly impact India’s agrarian economy as their effect tends to lower the production of summer crops such as rice, sugarcane and oilseeds. This in return causes inflation to surge and lowers the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India is the second largest producer of rice and wheat in the world. There are increased signs of El Niño like conditions but it’s still not clear how strong it will be. Going by the 50-year average the predicted rains is 96% and it is expected that actual rainfall may be 5 percent more or less than the prediction. An El Niño has not always resulted in weak monsoons in India and mitigating factors this year may include comfortable reservoir water levels and excess food grain.