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PTI

India's rice production could fall by 10-12 million tonnes during the Kharif season of this year, due to a fall in paddy sowing area, the government said on Friday.

However, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey asserted that the country will have surplus production in rice.

He pointed out that the paddy acreage is lower by 38 lakh hectare so far this kharif season, because of less rains in many states.

The Kharif season contributes about 80 per cent of India's total rice production.

"Loss of production of rice may be 10 million tonnes and in the worst case it can be 12 million tonnes this year," he told reporters here.

However, the secretary said that this is an initial estimate based on drop in acreage and average yield.

Pandey said the fall in production could be less as yield might improve in states where rains have been good.

Total production of Rice during the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is estimated at a record 130.29 million tonnes. It is higher by 13.85 million tonnes than the last five years' average production of 116.44 million tonnes.

The secretary did not reply to a question on whether the government would extend the free foodgrains programme Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

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