Owing to drought, India's foodgrain production is estimated to fall by nearly 7 per cent to 218.19 million tonnes in the 2009-10 season, although wheat has set a record 80.98-million tonne output.

The production of foodgrains, comprising wheat, rice, pulses and coarse cereals, declined mainly due to the sharp fall in the output of rice and coarse cereals by 10 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. The fall in production had occurred on account of the drought that affected nearly half the country last year.

The total foodgrain output will fall to 218.19 million tonnes in the 2009-10 season (including Kharif and Rabi) from the record 234.47 million tonnes in 2008-09, according to the third advance estimate released by the government.

Nevertheless, the country's wheat production is estimated to beat the previous year's record of 80.68 million tonnes, reaching 80.98 million tonnes in 2009-10.

However, the output of rice, grown mainly in the Kharif season, is expected to fall to 89.31 million tonnes from 99.18 million tonnes in the review period. Production of coarse cereals, on the other hand, is set to decline by over 17 per cent, to 33.13 million tonnes from 40.03 million tonnes.

The pulses output is projected to increase marginally to 14.77 million tonnes from 14.57 million tonnes. The production of oilseeds, however, is expected to decline to 25.40 million tonnes against last year?s 27.71 million tonnes.

Sugarcane production is expected to fall to 274.65 million tonnes from 285.02 million tonnes.

The government has revised wheat and rice production figures upward in the third estimate for 2009-10, as compared to the second advance estimate released in February. However, the oilseeds output has been revised downward.

Wheat output has been revised upwards to 80.98 million tonnes from 80.28 million tonnes, while rice has been raised from 87.56 million tonnes to 89.31 million tonnes. The foodgrains output has been pegged higher at 218.19 million tonnes, from 216.85 million tonnes.

The oilseeds production is pegged at 25.40 million tonnes in the third estimate for 2009-10 season, from 26.32 million tonnes in the February estimate.

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