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Food Grain Output in India Seen at Record as Wheat Crop Expands

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Food grain production in India may climb to a record this year as farmers in the world’s second-largest grower of wheat and rice expand planting, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.

Wheat harvest may surpass 100 million metric tons in the year ending June while rice crop may exceed last year’s 104.4 million tons, Pawar told reporters in New Delhi. Total grain output, including corn and barley, reached a record of 259.3 million tons in the 2011-2012 season, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Planting of winter crops increased 5.5 percent to 61.9 million hectares (152.9 million acres) as of Jan. 10 from the same time a year earlier, ministry data show. Area under wheat surged to a record 31.2 million hectares, it said.

“In all probability we will have highest production of wheat in this season,” Pawar said. “Rice production will definitely be more than last year. We will also have bumper production of pulses, oilseeds and cotton.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Prabhudatta Mishra in New Delhi at pmishra8@bloomberg.net; Pratik Parija in New Delhi at pparija@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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