New Delhi: Up to 10-15 per cent of paddy
crop in Punjab and Haryana -- considered food bowl of the
country -- is feared to have been affected by floods, raising
concern of slump in the total rice production.
"I have spoken to the states. The reports from these two
states show that about 10-15 per cent of paddy crop is likely
to have been affected due to floods in Punjab and Haryana,"
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters here today.
Last week, the minister had said that limited areas in
these two states saw some impact of floods and the situation
was not that serious.
Punjab and Haryana are the two leading foodgrain
producers in the country. Heavy monsoon rains have lashed the
northern belt in the last few days with some places, including
agricultural land getting marooned in the two states.
For instance in Punjab, of 60,000 hectare of flood
affected area 30,000 hectare was under paddy and is feared to
have been damaged, a senior official with the Punjab
Agriculture Department had said recently.
The maximum crop damage may have occurred in Patiala,
followed by Samrala, Machhiwara, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur,
he had said, adding that the actual crop loss would be
ascertained only after the completion of revenue assessment.
A similar situation is reported in Haryana. According to
official data, Punjab had sown paddy in 15.23 lakh hectare,
while that of Haryana in 1.1 lakh hectare as on July 1.
Pawar said with normal monsoon rains, the country`s
"total area under kharif crops like paddy, cereals, pulses,
sugarcane and cotton is expected to be higher, as compared to
the last year."
The minister had recently said the way sowing operation
is undergoing coupled with reports of good monsoon from the
states, the country is likely to have a bumper crop this year.
The sowing of kharif crops began in June with the onset
of the South-West monsoon and will continue till September.
Monsoon rains, the lifeline of Indian agriculture, have
already covered the entire country. About 60 per cent of the
total area under cultivation is dependent on it.