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Indian farmers likely to be hit by below normal monsoon rains this year

India is expected to get below normal monsoon rains this year after four straight years of normal monsoon yielding bumper crops.

The India Meteorological Department says in a statement released Thursday that the rainfall is likely to be 95 percent of the 50-year average, a bad news for Indian farmers who heavily rely on monsoon rains.

The reason cited is an El Nino, a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns.

The IMD statement predicted a 60 percent chance of an El Nino developing during India's monsoon season from June-October.

Monsoon rains are crucial for Indian agriculture, because nearly 60 percent of its farmland is rainfed.