NEW DELHI (AFP) - India expects bumper foodgrain production this year that should help contain inflation after last years worst drought in decades drove up prices, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said Friday. Foodgrain production slid by seven percent in the crop year to June 2010 to 218.19m tonnes from a record 234.47m tonnes the previous year due to the severe drought, the worst in 37 years. But this years monsoon, which sweeps across the subcontinent from June to Sept and accounts for about 80pc of the rainfall India receives, has already covered the entire country ahead of schedule. With the way sowing operations are going and reports of a good monsoon from the states, were likely to have a bumper crop production this year, Pawar told reporters in New Delhi. India is the worlds second-biggest producer and consumer of rice after China. Summer crops such as rice, sugar cane, cotton and oilseeds are sown in July and harvested from October. Pawar added that the expected good harvest should help check food inflation, now at 12.63 percent, as well as overall inflation which was running at 10.16pc in May. Pawar noted food inflation has already started coming down substantially from earlier peaks of nearly 17pc, easing the plight of consumers. The monsoon rains are a lifeline for Indias hundreds of millions of farmers, who have no access to irrigation systems.