India expects robust rice crop in current season

August 29th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Rice production will go up significantly in India in the current season, notwithstanding raging floods in Bihar and Punjab, a senior agriculture ministry official said here Friday.“Rice production is going to be record this season, despite floods having hit the summer crop in some areas,” said Mangala Rai, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Research (DARE), in the ministry of agriculture.

“Rice production can go beyond what the country had last season,” Rai told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar here.

The production of rice stood at 96.43 million tonnes, wheat 78.40 million tonnes, coarse cereals 40.73 million tonnes, maize 19.31 million tonnes, pulses 15.11 million tonnes, and oilseeds 28.82 million tonnes.

The government has targeted a production of 129 million tonnes of rice by 2011-12 with the growth rate of 3.7 percent, along with other food grain.

India’s food grain production was estimated at 230.67 million tonnes in 2007-08.

As per the fourth Advance Estimates of Crop Production for 2007-08, there is an absolute increase of 13.39 million tonnes in food production at 230.67 million tonnes, as compared to 217.28 million tonnes in 2006-07.

Rai did not specify the increase in quantum, but hoped that the output would go up significantly.

As per an official estimate, the demand for rice in India is projected at 128 million tonnes for 2012 and will require a production level of 3,000 kilograms per hectare against the current average yield of 1,930 kilograms per hectare.

The consumption of rice in 2006-07 was 88.25 million tonnes.

Official data says agriculture, including fishery and forest, grew at the rate of 4.5 percent in 2007-08, against 3.8 percent in 2006-07.

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