Contrary to its earlier predictions, the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday that monsoon rains are expected to arrive on southern Kerala coast by 7 June, about five days later than the normal date of 2 June,.
The monsoon season delivers 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall, which is crucial for agriculture and economic growth that has been hampered by back-to-back droughts.
About half the country's farmland lacks irrigation, and farmers have blamed the government for a slow response after the droughts ravaged their crops in 2014 and 2015.
Two-thirds of India's population depends on farming.
The weather office expected a "slight delay" in the arrival of the rains, it said in a statement. In April, it had forecast an above average monsoon for the year.