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NEW DELHI: India has raised the price at which it will buy the new-season common rice paddy variety from local farmers by 5.2%, the biggest increase in five years, as New Delhi encourages farmers to boost acreage and output of the staple.

For the common grade of rice paddy, the government has fixed the support or guaranteed price at 2,040 rupees ($26.26) per 100 kg, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told a news conference after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice, with a market share of more than 40%. Plentiful monsoon rains and the increase in the support price could help raise rice output in India, also the world’s second biggest consumer of the grain. As a heat wave hit output, India banned wheat exports on May 14.

The surprise decision to ban wheat exports had raised doubts about some curbs on overseas sales of rice as well. Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Commerce and Industry and some government and trade officials said India does not plan to curb rice exports.

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