Mali expects to produce a record9.5 million tonnes of grain in the 2017/18 season that started in April, owing to more land being cultivated and increased use of tractors, the statistics office said on Sunday.

Rice, maize and millet make up the bulk of the West African country’s grain output.

This season’s expected production marks a 7.5% increase on last season but is slightly below forecasts madeearlier in the year because of lower than expected rainfall,Balla Keita, deputy director of the Planning and Statistics Unit, told reporters.

Of the total, 4.1 million tonnes of grain has been exported,he said.