india's monsoon rains are likely to be 97 per cent of their long-term average in 2018, its meteorological department said on monday, reassuring farmers ahead of summer planting in a country where only half of the farmland is irrigated.what are the categories of monsoon? a normal, or average, monsoon means rainfall between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 89 cm (35 inches) in total during the four-month monsoon season from june, according to the india meteorological department's (imd) classification. rainfall below 90 per cent of the average would be classified as a drought. during prime minister narendra modi's first two years in office, in 2014 and 2015, there were consecutive droughts that led to some criticism due to the government's handling of the issue. rainfall above 110 per cent of the average would mean an excessive monsoon, which would not be as damaging as a drought but could be potentially harmful for the yields of certain crops. the monsoon season starts with rains on the southern kerala coast around june 1, covering the whole country by the middle of july.why is the monsoon important? the monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of india's annual rainfall and determines the yield of key crops such as rice, wheat, sugarcane and oilseeds such as soybeans. the farm sector accounts for about 15 percent of india's $2 trillion economy, but employs more than half of the country's 1.3 billion people. if monsoon rains lift fa...