"We expect to produce 97 million tonnes of rice this year," state agriculture department director R Santhagopalan said.

The state expected a bumper crop last year but cyclone Phailin caused heavy damage and we could produce only 79 million tonne of rice, he said.

The state produced 86 million tonnes of rice in 2012-13, making the current year the highest the state has produced.

Although the state was battered by cyclone Hudhud earlier this month, the extent of crop damage in the state was negligible, Santhagopalan said.

The state, which is the country's seventh largest producer of rice, received nine percent more rainfall than normal during the June-September monsoon season. It received 1,248 mm of rainfall against a normal of 1,150 mm during the period.

Latest News from State News Desk