India’s rice production is likely to hit an all-time high in the ongoing Kharif season on the back of good monsoon that has propelled sowing area, Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said on Tuesday.

“Monsoon has been good so far this year. As per the reports received from the states, sowing area is higher and it seems that this time we will set new records in food grain production during Kharif,” Mr. Anwar said on the sidelines of an ASSOCHAM’s Bio-Agri summit.’ Rice production is expected to set a record in Kharif season, he added.

Earlier Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had also said the production of food grains in Kharif season could break all previous records.

The all-time high in food grains output for Kharif season was 131.27 million tonnes (MT) set in 2011-12. However, the output fell during last year because of drought in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The all-time high output of rice was also in 2011-12 at 92.78 MT.

Area under Kharif crops, including paddy, had increased by 17.70 per cent to 747.78 lakh hectares till last week. The acreage of paddy, a major kharif (summer-sown) crop, rose by 8.58 per cent to 196.38 lakh hectares.

Sowing of kharif (summer) crops begins with the onset of South-west monsoon from June. The country had received an excess of 21 per cent rainfall till last week. The advancement of monsoon rains had also pushed area under pulses by 90 per cent to 73.62 lakh hectares.

Similarly, area sown for coarse cereals has increased to 148.82 lakh hectares from 117.48 lakh hectares in the review period.

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