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Rice production likely to be record on expanded area

India’s rice production is likely to surge to a record high as farmers have planted around 12 million hectares with summer-sown rice up by 25 percent from last year as robust monsoon rains encouraged the expansion of acreage. If this happens to be true, the higher output by the world’s biggest rice exporter may dampen domestic prices and make exports more competitive, compensating for lower supplies from rivals Thailand and Vietnam.Buoyed by the plentiful rains, rice farmers are likely to harvest a record crop and step up overseas sales from the world’s biggest exporter of the grain. To note that Farmers start planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane and peanuts among other crops from June 1, when monsoon rains reach India. Nearly half of India’s farmland lacks irrigation and planting usually lasts through July.The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has issued preliminary figures recently for planting from June 1-July 10, which are subject to revision as it gathers more information from state governments.The area planted with cotton was at 10.5 million hectares up from 7.8 million hectares at the same time last year.Sowing of oilseeds was at 13.9 million hectares, compared with 7.5 million hectares at the same time in 2019.Planting of pulses touched 6.4 million hectares, sharply higher than 2.4 million hectares in the previous year.