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India's rice output to rise to 100 million tons: FAO

November 14, 2012 13:14 IST
UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has revised upwards India's rice production to 100 million tonnes (MT) in the 2012-13 crop year on the back of revival of rains in August and September.

The global body on the farm sector had earlier forecast the rice output in India, the world's second largest producer, at 98.5 MT. This was due to late onset of monsoon rains leading to deficit in key northern and southern growing areas.

FAO in its latest 'Food Outlook' report said that output prospects in India were marred until August by below-normal precipitation, but have since been bolstered by a revival of the monsoon rains.

"As a result, the country is predicted to harvest 100 MT in 2012-13, 4 MT less than its outstanding 2011-12 season, but still the second best result in history," FAO said.

The country had harvested a record 104.32 MT of rice in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June).

"While the resulting replenishment of water reserves should foster an expansion of secondary rabi (winter) crop, the rains may have come too late for the main kharif (summer) crop to be unscathed," it added.

The past few months of the 2012 season were dominated by concern over a possible recurrence of an El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather anomaly and slow progress of the monsoon rains in India, it said.

"However, in August and September, India's fears were tempered by more generous pattern of the rainfall, and meteorological centre's predictions reverted back to a weak or neutral ENSO," it added.

According to the latest FAO forecasts, the world rice production in 2012 is poised to rise 0.7 per cent to a new high of 486 MT, which is 2 MT higher than foreseen in September, 2012. The world had produced 482.7 MT of the staple in 2011-12.

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