Paddy sowing picks up in Punjab, Haryana

Last Updated: Sunday, July 4, 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 4, 2010 - 17:54

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