India's rice production in the 2010-11 crop year will be better than last year, despite deficient rainfall in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Friday.
The minister, however, said production could be lower than his initial expectation of 100 million tonnes.
"This year, monsoon has been good. Because of the deficient rain in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, the production of paddy may not be that good as initially I was expecting."
"However, whatever report we have got from the states, the produce will be better than last year," he said at a seminar on the rabi crop season here.
According to a presentation by Agriculture Commissioner Gurbachchan Singh, West Bengal received 16 per cent less rainfall than normal between June 1 and September 8, while Bihar and Jharkhand got 25 per cent and 48 per cent less rainfall, respectively, he said.
India's rice production declined to 89.13 million tonnes in the 2009-10 crop year, from a record 99.18 million tonnes in the previous year, on account of a severe drought in 2009 that hit almost half of the country.