26/06/2015 3:44 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Weather Office: India's Monsoon Season Is Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule

SHAMMI MEHRA via Getty Images
Indian commuters make their way along a water-logged road after a monsoon rainshower in Jalandhar on June 23, 2015. Monsoon rains are vital for Indian crops and a particularly dry season can reduce farm output, raising food prices which can be crippling for the tens of millions of India's poor. AFP PHOTO/SHAMMI MEHRA (Photo credit should read SHAMMI MEHRA/AFP/Getty Images)

India's monsoon has covered the entire country, the weather office said on Friday, more than two weeks ahead of the normal schedule in a year that is forecast to see below average rains.

The revival of monsoon rains in the grain bowl of northwest and central regions should help speed up the sowing of main summer crops such as rice, corn, soybeans and cotton.

Over a quarter higher rainfall since the start of the June-September season has eased concerns of a first drought in six years.

Rains are vital to India's farm sector, which accounts for about 15 percent of the country's nearly $2 trillion economy.

Two-thirds of its 1.2 billion population live in rural areas. Last year, monsoon rains covered the country two days behind the schedule, hitting crop output.

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