Indian scientists try to crack monsoon source code
This would help India conserve depleting water resources and agricultural output would get a boost as farmers would be able to plan their crops better. Armed with more precise forecasts, state governments would be better prepared, in theory, for disasters just as the recent floods in Assam.
It would as well bring more certainty to economic policy- making. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government is gambling on a normal monsoon this year to boost weak economic growth.
Weather forecasting, now, is just one of the challenges facing India's agricultural sector. Water conservation and proper irrigation remain a problem, agricultural policy-making is muddled and the government is in accordance with pressure to cut expensive diesel subsidies, which broadly speaking benefit richer farmers.
The arable land in India
More than half of the arable land in India, one of the world's biggest producers of cotton, rice, sugar and wheat, is rain-fed. A successful monsoon means rural residents have more money to spend on everything from motorcycles to refrigerators.