Floods hit 10-15% paddy crop in Punjab, Haryana: Pawar



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.

PTI