RTTNews - Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that rice production during this year's Kharif season might be less by about 10 million tonnes due to the less-than-average monsoon in the country, reports PTI.

He said that the shortage in the monsoon might reduce the coverage area of paddy by about 5.7 million hectares resulting in a lower output. He was addressing state food ministers at Delhi.

Pawar said that the country produced nearly 100 million tonnes of rice in both Rabi and Kharif in 2008-09. The output of oil- seeds and sugarcane was expected to be lower, he added and expressed concern over the food grain output in Kharif for 2009-10.

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