Paddy sowing picks up in Punjab, Haryana
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 17:54
  
Chandigarh: With paddy sowing achieved over 70 per cent and 40 per cent of the area targeted for cultivation of this crop in Punjab and Haryana, respectively, it is expected that rice production in the two states will get a boost in the ongoing kharif season.

A fresh spell of rains Sunday lashed various parts of the two states. According to experts, rains will boost paddy sowing and help in reducing the input cost of paddy-growers.

Paddy-growers have so far brought 19.54 lakh hectares under paddy crop in Punjab, which is marginally lower than the 19.80 lakh hectares brought under paddy in the corresponding period last year.

In Haryana close to 5 lakh hectares has been brought under paddy in the state in the current season, an official of the Haryana Agriculture Department said.

Punjab, which contributes almost 35 per cent of the rice in the central pool, has set a target this year to bring down the area under paddy by over one lakh hectares in the wake of the depleting water table in the state. It aims to bring 27 lakh hectares under paddy cultivation against 28.20 lakh hectares last year.

Haryana is also looking to reduce the area under paddy crops to 11.50 lakh hectares in the current kharif season from 12.05 lakh hectares last year.

Paddy sowing in Punjab and Haryana began on June 10 and June 15 respectively.

However, experts point out that the drop in the area under paddy cultivation by farmers will be negligible in light of assured returns and marketing by Centre.

"Though Punjab has targeted 27 lakh hectares under paddy, the actual area under this crop is expected to still reach 27.80 lakh hectares because of remunerative returns and assured lifting," a rice expert said.

However, the area under basmati varieties of paddy is expected to remain at last year's level in Punjab and Haryana, which are key states for growing aromatic varieties of the crop.

"The main reason behind stability in the area is that the majority of the area during last year was brought by farmers of Punjab and Haryana under basmati varieties and beyond that area, now there is no scope left for further expansion under aromatic crop," an office bearer of the All-India Rice Exporters Association said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 17:54


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