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Rice production


Water scarcity affects paddy cultivation

When they set out to revitalise a fallow piece of land, hardly did they expect the problem of water scarcity to put a spanner in their works. A group of students, part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit at the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Pappanamcode, who have taken up cultivation in 30 cents of land near their college, are now facing a water crisis owing to a blocked canal, part of the Neyyar irrigation project.

The students started cultivation on a part of the Koliyakkode paddy fields, stretching to 7 hectares, last December. They took up the entire work of preparing the field, which has been lying uncultivated for the past two years, and sowing. But since February, they have been facing a severe shortage of water. They have been depending on a garbage-filled waterbody and wells in nearby houses for watering the crop. But now with water level in the wells reducing rapidly, the students are doubtful whether they can harvest the crop as expected in April.
Students of the NSS unit of Sree Chithra Thirunal Engineering College, Pappanamcode, watering the paddy fields which they cultivate.
They say that the main reason for the stoppage of paddy cultivation here was the clogging of the Neyyar irrigation project canal a few years ago with garbage. At present the water reaches only till Nemom and due to two major blocks at the Vellayani studio and the Vidhyadhiraja Homoeo College, the water does not reach till Pappanamcode.

In what is seen as an after effect of the clogging of the canal, as many as 11 ponds in the Nemom area have almost dried up in the past few years. Though an amount of Rs.14 lakh was allocated to clean up the clogged canal, the contractor who took up the work left it half way through. Re-tendering processes has also not happened.

The students fear that the continuing water scarcity will result in the entire paddy field going back to the fallow state, which might pave the way for real estate lobbies to fill it up.

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Up 26% from Last Year

Area under India's rabi (winter) rice crop (November – March) planting stands at about 3.414 million hectares as of February 21, 2014, which is up about 26% from about 2.714 million hectares recorded during the same time last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

India’s total Rabi planting area (including rice and other grains) stands at about 66.306 million hectares, which is up about 6% from about 62.766 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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India Government Projects 2013-14 Rice Production at Record 106.19 Million Tons

The Indian government says in its second advance estimates that rice production in 2013-14 (October - September) is likely to reach a record 106.19 million tons, the highest ever on record and up about 1% from an estimated 105.24 million tons produced in the previous year.

The government says that India’s total food grain production, which includes kharif season (July – December) and rabi crops (November - March), in 2013-14 is likely to reach around 263.2 million tons (about 6 million tons or 2% higher from 2012-13) and production of many crops is likely to break earlier records.

Local sources say that rice production is likely to get a boost this year helped by a surging rabi (winter) rice crop and high market prices. According to the agriculture ministry, India’s rabi rice area stands at around 2.8 million hectares as of February 14, 2014, up about 33% from last year.

Higher production will help India maintain record rice shipments in 2013-14. According to the USDA, India was the world’s largest rice exporter in 2012-13 with exports of around 10.9 million tons. The US agency estimates India’s rice production in 2013-14 at around 103 million tons, against a consumption of 95 million tons, while India’s exports are expected to reach around 10 million tons in 2013-14. However, rice traders in India expect rice exports to grow to around 11 million tons in 2013-14.

Government estimates are usually conservative, and the second advance estimate for rice production in 2012-13 was around 101.8 million tons, down about 3% or about 3.4 million tons from actual production of around 105.24 million tons.



India States Receive 2012-13 ‘Krishi Karman’ Awards for Higher Rice Production

Two Indian states, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, have received this year’s "Krishi Karman" awards for achieving higher rice production during the crop year 2012-13 (October – September).

Chhattisgarh received the 2012-13 Krishi Karman Award for best performance in paddy rice yield. According to government sources, the average rice yield in the state increased to around 2.041 tons per hectare in 2012-13, up about 71% from around 1.75 tons per hectare in 2011-12. Chhattisgarh produced around 6.28 million tons of rice in 2011-12, which is about 6% of India’s total rice production of around 104.3 million tons. The western state of Maharashtra, which produces around 2.8 million tons of rice annually, was awarded with commendation prize for rice.

The northern state of Haryana won the Commendation Award for Sustained High Productivity of Rice and Wheat for the year 2012-13. According to the Haryana Agriculture Department, the state recorded all-time high rice production at 3.98 million tons during the 2012-13 fiscal, which is about 4% of India's rice production. Haryana was the highest contributor of food grains (including both rice and wheat) to the Central Pool and ranks first among states in basmati rice exports, according to local sources.

The central state of Madhya Pradesh won the award in large category (food grain production more than 10 million tons), eastern state of Odisha won the award in medium category (food grain production 1 to 10 million tons) and Manipur won the award in small category (food grain production less than 1 million tons). In individual food grain crops, Chhattisgarh won the award for rice, Bihar for wheat, Jharkhand for pulses and Andhra Pradesh for coarse cereals.

Krishi Karman awards were instituted in 2010-11 by the Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture. They are given to Indian states for their effort and contribution towards increasing the country’s food grain production.

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धान की खेती में सर्वश्रेष्ठ प्रदर्शन के लिए मिला राष्ट्रीय कृषि कर्मण पुरस्कार

रायपुर :राष्ट्रपति प्रणब मुखर्जी ने छत्तीसगढ़ को वर्ष 2012-13 में देश में धान उत्पादन में सर्वश्रेष्ठ प्रदर्शन के लिए कृषि कर्मण पुरस्कार से नवाजा है। यह पुरस्कार आज नई दिल्ली के विज्ञान भवन में आयोजित गरिमामय कार्यक्रम में राष्ट्रीपति प्रणब मुखर्जी की ओर से प्रदान किया गया।

मुख्यमंत्री के प्रतिनिधि के रूप में प्रदेश के कृषि मंत्री बृजमोहन अग्रवाल ने राष्ट्रपति के हाथों यह पुरस्कार ग्रहण किया। मुख्यमंत्री डा. रमन सिंह ने राज्य को लगातार दूसरी बार राष्ट्रीय कृषि कर्मण पुरस्कार मिलने पर प्रदेश के किसानों को बधाई और शुभकामनाएं दी है। मुख्यमंत्री ने कहा है कि हमारे किसानों की कड़ी मेहनत से ही प्रदेश को यह गौरव प्राप्त हुआ है। इसके पहले 16 जुलाई 2011 को भी छत्तीसगढ़ को केन्द्र सरकार की ओर से कृषि कर्मण पुरस्कार से नवाजा जा चुका है। उस वक्त मुख्यमंत्री डा. रमन सिंह ने प्रधानमंत्री डा. मनमोहन सिंह के हाथों यह पुरस्कार ग्रहण किया था। राष्ट्रपति मुखर्जी ने नई दिल्ली के विज्ञान भवन में आयोजित कृषि-वानिकी सम्मेलन में प्रदेश के कृषि मंत्री बृजमोहन अग्रवाल को प्रदेश के किसानों के लिए यह पुरस्कार सौंपा। राष्ट्रपति ने इस उपलब्धि के लिए छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार और राज्य के किसानों को बधाई दी। इस अवसर पर छत्तीसगढ़ के दो किसानों- जांजगीर-चांपा जिले के ग्राम जाजंग निवासी सुशीला गबेल और धमतरी जिले के ग्राम जुगदेही निवासी भोलाराम साहू को धान की खेती में सर्वश्रेष्ठ प्रदर्शन और सर्वाधिक उत्पादन के लिए पुरस्कृत किया। समारोह में केन्द्रीय कृषि मंत्री शरद पवार, केन्द्रीय पर्यावरण एवं पेट्रोलियम मंत्री वीरप्पा मोईली, मध्यप्रदेश, बिहार, मेघालय, उड़ीसा और मणिपुर के मुख्यमंत्रियों सहित देश के विभिन्न राज्यों के कृषि वैज्ञानिक, छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार के अपर मुख्य सचिव एवं कृषि उत्पादन आयुक्त अजय सिंह, संचालक कृषि पीआर कृदत्ता और प्रदेश के पूर्व कृषि मंत्री चन्द्रशेखर साहू भी मौजूद थे।

छत्तीसगढ़ के कृषि मंत्री बृजमोहन अग्रवाल ने इस मौके पर बताया कि राज्य को सर्वाधिक चावल उत्पादन के लिए दूसरी बार कृषि कर्मण पुरस्कार प्रदान किया है। राज्य में धान के उत्पादन में 71 फीसदी की बढ़ोतरी दर्ज की गई है, जो कि विकास का सूचक है। वर्ष 2011 में राज्य में धान का उत्पादन 1751 किलोग्राम प्रति हेक्टेयर था, जो 2012-13 में बढ़कर किलोग्राम प्रति हेक्टेयर हो गया। कृषि मंत्री बृजमोहन अग्रवाल ने यह पुरस्कार राज्य के मेहनतकश किसानों को समर्पित किया है। उन्होंने कहा कि मुख्यमंत्री डा. रमन सिंह के नेतृत्व में राज्य सरकार ने किसानों की बेहतरी के लिए कई पहल की हैं। जिनमें धान के एक-एक दाने की खरीद, संपूर्ण खाद्य आपूर्ति श्रृंखला का सर्वश्रेष्ठ प्रबंधन पिछले दस सालों में धान की खरीद के लिए किसानों को 43000 करोड़ का भुगतान किया है। उल्लेखनीय है कि मुख्यमंत्री डा. रमन सिंह के नेतृत्व में राज्य शासन की ओर से नए वित्तीय वर्ष 2014-15 के बजट में खेती और उससे जुडे़ विभिन्न क्षेत्रों के लिए आठ हजार 459 करोड़ का प्रावधान किया है। इसमें से 4 हजार 102 करोड़ कृषि और उद्यानिकी में खर्च किए जाएंगे। प्राथमिक सहकारी समितियों से राज्य शासन की ओर से किसानों को अब तक एक प्रतिषत ब्याज पर अल्पकालीन कृषि ऋणों की सुविधा दी जा रही थी, अब किसानों को इन समितियों से ब्याज मुक्त ऋण मिलेगा। धान पर 300 रुपये प्रति क्विंटल की दर से बोनस देने का प्रावधान भी नये बजट में किया गया है।

विगत दस वर्षों में कृषि ऋणों की ब्याज दरों मे निरंतर कमी, सिंचाई के लिए पांच हार्स पावर तक सिंचाई पम्पों को सालाना साढ़े सात हजार यूनिट निःशुल्क बिजली, सहकारी समितियों में धान खरीदी की सर्वोत्तम व्यवस्था, कृषि उपकरणों पर आकर्षण अनुदान जैसी योजनाओं से राज्य के किसानों में खेती के लिए नये उत्साह के साथ आत्मविश्वास जागृत हुआ है। और वे अधिक से अधिक मेहनत करके राष्ट्र के कृषि उत्पादन में अपना महत्वपूर्ण योगदान दे रहे हैं।

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Record foodgrains output of 207 lakh tonnes likely

Hyderabad, February 10:  The foodgrain output in the State is set to touch a record high of 207.29 lakh tonnes in spite of three cyclones — Phailin, Helen and Lehar impacting the State.

This is against 204.21 lakh tonnes in 2008-09. In 2012-13, the output was 187.37 lakh tonnes, according to Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy. As per the latest estimates, the area under paddy crop is all set to showcase a new record. From 36.28 lakh hectares in 2012-13, it has increased to 43.95 lakh hectares during 2013-14, an increase of 21.14 per cent. During 2013-14, crop loans of ₹28,820 crore and agricultural loans of ₹9671 core were disbursed up to September 2013.

It is proposed to extend ₹62,224 crore of credit to the agriculture sector during 2013-14. Referring to the micro-irrigation system, the Finance Minister said about 9.75 lakh hectares have been brought under micro irrigation benefitting about 9 lakh farmers. The State had earmarked ₹572 crore for micro-irrigation during 2013-14.

During 2014, the State is expecting to add additional power generation capacity of 3910 MW. This includes two units of 800 MW each at APGenco Krishnapatnam, 1040 MW of Hinduja National Power Corporation, and 600 MW at Bhupalapally of APGenco, 120 MW of hydel power at lower Jurala and 50 MW at Nagarjunasagar tailpond.

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 2.1 Million Hectares; Up 40% from Last Year

Planting area under India's Rabi (winter) rice crop (November – April) stands at around 2.1 million hectares as of January 31, 2014, which is up about 40% from about 1.5 million hectares recorded during same time in 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Rabi rice crop accounts for around 10% – 15% of total annual rice production in India.

India’s total Rabi planting area (including rice and other grains) stands at about 64.3 million hectares as of January 31, 2014, up about 6% from about 60.8 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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Foodgrains production may fall short of target

Foodgrains production in the State is likely to fall short of the target by about 18-lakh tonnes in 2013-14. The shortfall is being attributed to damage of standing crops due to cyclones in the coastal districts and because of excessive rains in other areas.

The shortfall is mainly contributed by drop in the production of paddy (rice) by 10.5-lakh tonnes and that of pulses by 5.02-lakh tonnes.

The production of cotton cultivated in over 24-lakh hectares, a record, oilseeds and sugarcane have also been estimated to be much below the targets set by the State Government.

According to Director of Economics and Statistics D. Dakshinamurthy, foodgrains production is likely to be 207.29-lakh tonnes against the target of 224.96-lakh tonnes, an 8 per cent dip in the expected output. Similarly, the production of pulses has been put below expectation at 12.74-lakh tonnes against 17.76-lakh tonnes.

The production of foodgrains has suffered due to low productivity (yield) caused by unfavourable weather conditions during the crucial stages of crops, though the extent of crops’ cultivation has matched or exceeded the targets fixed by the government. Paddy has been cultivated in 43.95-lakh hectares against the target of 44-lakh hectares but the yield is 3,115-kg per hectare against expectation of 3,350-kg.

However, cultivation of pulses has fallen short of target by over 5-lakh hectares as the sowings were badly hit badly with untimely and excessive rains. As a result, they were sown only in 16.42-lakh hectares against the target of 21.85-lakh hectares.

Excessive rains have also dashed the hopes of cotton farmers who were expecting bumper production this year. Against the estimated 78-lakh bales production, only 52.35-lakh bales production is being expected now.

In contrast, cultivation of oilseed suffered badly due to scanty rainfall in Anantapur district where groundnut is the major crop. Groundnut covers about 80 per cent of oilseed cultivation in the State. Against the target of 23.86-lakh hectares, oilseed were sown in 19.49-lakh hectares. Production has been affected in greater proportion due to low yields.

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 214,000 Hectares So Far, Up 23% from Last Year

Area under India’s winter (rabi) rice crop planting has reached about 214,000 hectares as of December 20, 2013, which is up about 23% from around 174,000 hectares recorded during the same period last year, according to government sources.

Overall planting area under India’s rabi crop (including rice and other crops) has reached around 53.64 million hectares, up about 6% from around 50.73 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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Kharif output to drop to lowest level since 2010

 Timely access to irrigation water pushed up the sowing of paddy, compared to the normal acreage in Krishna district in kharif 2013. But the yield is going to be less then what is expected -- the lowest since 2010.

Agriculture officials estimated that the total paddy production in this kharif season in Krishna district will be around 11 lakh tonnes instead of the yield of over 13.56 lakh tonnes.

Over two lakh tonnes of paddy has been damaged by cyclones – Helen, Phailin and Lehar.

Of the three cyclones that hit the State in quick succession, it was Helen that inflicted the maximum damage.

According to Agriculture department statistics, paddy was sown in 2.56 lakh hectares this year against the normal acreage of 2.55 lakh hectares.

Paddy hit badly

“The total production is likely to fall from 13.80 lakh tonnes to around 11 lakh tonnes.

At least paddy crop in 60,000 hectares was badly damaged and the farmers can’t even recover the grain from most of this area,” Krishna District Agriculture Department In-Charge Joint Director Balu Naik told The Hindu.

The stretch of coastal mandals from Kruthivennu to Nagayalanka, which falls under the eastern part of the Krishna district, is the most affected. However, the sowing operations in this part were delayed by two months.

For farmers in this region, kharif is the only crop in the absence of rabi due to irrigation water woes, particularly since 2010.

The cyclones have also badly impacted the dairy sector.

“The highest loss is of fodder. The demand for fodder will be very much in Krishna, the State’s largest milk producing district. There is no way to collect it from the paddy that has collapsed due to the winds,” said Mr. Balu Naik.

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India Winter Rice Planting Area Reaches 730,000 Hectares So Far, Up 14% from Last Year

India’s winter (rabi) rice planting area has reached around 730,000 hectares as of November 22, 2013, up about 14% from around 640,000 hectares recorded during the same period last year, according to government sources. India’s rabi rice crop accounts for around 10% – 13% of the annual rice production of around 104 million tons.

Overall planting area under India’s rabi crop (including rice and other crops) stands at around 31.4 million hectares, up around 7% from around 29.4 million hectares during this time last year.

Total rice planting area under India's main rice crop (Kharif crop - June to December) in 2013-14 stands at around 38.1 million hectares, up about 2% from around 37.3 million hectares in 2012-13.

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 52,000 Hectares So Far

Planting area under India’s winter season and secondary rice crop (Rabi crop) stands at around 52,000 hectares as of November 14, 2013, unchanged from planting area recorded during the same time last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Total Rabi crop planting (including rice and other crops) in India stands at around 22.33 million hectares, up about 6% from around 21.04 million hectares planted during the same time in 2013.

Rabi rice crop in India accounted for around 13.4 million tons or about 13% of around 105 million tons produced in 2012-13.

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Punjab’s waiver of levies on basmati paddy purchase may encourage growers

 New Delhi, Nov. 15:  The Punjab Government’s recent move to waive levies on procurement of basmati paddy has put a section of the rice processing industry in a quandary not only in the State but also in neighbouring Haryana.

Punjab had waived levies to the extent of 7 per cent (2 per cent market fee, 2 per cent rural development fund and 3 per cent infrastructure cess) on purchase of basmati paddy for processing in the State.

Also, the value added tax of about 5 per cent has been waived on exports of basmati, besides imposition of a 5 per cent entry tax on basmati paddy entering from other States.
crop diversification

The latest move is aimed at encouraging the State’s food processing industry, while trying to discourage the cultivation of the water-intensive non-basmati paddy as part of the Government’s crop diversification programme, said D.V. Kapoor, General Secretary of the Punjab Rice Millers Association.

Also, it would help bring in more investments in the rice processing sector, while creating more jobs in the State, Kapoor, a miller in Jalandhar, said.
millers baffled

However, Anil Mittal, Chairman of KRBL Ltd, the country’s largest exporter, which has a basmati processing facility in the State, termed Punjab’s move of imposing an entry tax “as confusing.”

About 80 per cent of the basmati paddy grown in Punjab is the 1121 variety, while the traditional and Pusa basmati varieties account for the rest.

Large millers such as KRBL have to depend on States such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to meet their paddy requirement and the entry tax would make their raw material expensive.

Ajay Jakhar, President of the Bharat Krishak Samaj, said that the latest move would encourage rice growers to shift to basmati.
shift to basmati

“There would be at least 40-50 per cent increase in basmati area next year,” he said.

However, Jhakar believes that restricting buyers from neighbouring States may prove counter-productive, especially during a glut and when prices crash.

Farmers may not feel the impact this year because prices are ruling higher than last year.

“There should not be any curbs on the inter-State movement of agri-produce. Restricting the movement is like indirectly taxing the agricultural produce,” Jhakar said.
Cartel fears

Rice mills in Haryana, which depend on Punjab to meet a sizeable chunk of their paddy demand, are upset over the latest move.

“Reduced competition from buyers is a loss to farmers. Avoiding competition would lead to cartelisation of buyers in Punjab,” said Vijay Setia, Executive Director at Chaman Lal Setia Exports Ltd, which has processing units in Karnal and Amritsar, demanding a level-playing field.

However, Kapoor and KRBL’s Mittal dismissed fears of cartelisation.

“There are more than 500 millers in the State,” Kapoor said.

Punjab accounts for about 40 per cent of India’s basmati rice production estimated between 4 and 5 million tonnes.

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India Rice Stocks in Central Pool Stand at 28.2 Million Tons; Down 2.5% from Last Year

India’s rice stocks in the central pool stand at around 28.2 million tons (including milled equivalent of around 11.38 million tons of paddy) as of November 1, 2013, which is down about 2.5% from rice stocks in the central pool recorded on November 1, 2012.

However, month-on-month, India’s rice stocks in central pool are up about 23% from about 23 million tons recorded on October 1, 2013 according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Current rice stocks in India’s central pool are about four times the required buffer and strategic reserve norms of around 7.2 million tons for this time of the year.

According to the FCI, total food grain stocks with India’s central pool stand at around 62.4 million tons, down about 10% from last year. The decline is mainly due to lower wheat stocks which stand at around 34.1 million tons as of November 1, 2013, down about 16% from around 40.5 million tons recorded during the same time last year.

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India 2013-14 Rice Production Likely to Decline to 100 Million Tons

India’s rice production in 2013-14 may decline to around 100 million tons, down about 5% from around 105 million tons produced in the previous year due to adverse weather conditions during the main crop season this year.

India’s Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) scientist told sources that crop damage due to cyclone Phailin is estimated at around one million tons in Odisha state alone. Losses could be significantly higher due to heavy rains that followed the cyclone and unseasonal rainfall in key rice producing states of Punjab and Haryana.

Local sources say that rice yields are expected to decline in eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam which faced drier-than-normal weather conditions during the planting and growing state of main rice crop this year. Indian traders say that rice prices are already high due to an anticipated decline in production this year, and expect Indian rice export prices to increase in the coming months.

India is the world’s largest rice exporter. India’s rice exports in FY2012-13 (April – March) stood at around 10.15 million tons. This year, India has exported around 3.52 million tons in April – July 2013.

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Bengal floods: Paddy output may drop by more than 30% in state

Just about when the second green revolution in the east was getting scripted as a success story, floods washed away the outcome in a flick.

For the year 2013-14, under the Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) scheme, nearly Rs 151 crore was allocated to West Bengal, with the first installment of Rs 75 crore released only in September. 

The state government had set a target of increasing rice productivity by 500 kg/hectare through new varieties of seeds introduced as part of the second green revolution in the East.

Informal estimates suggest floods are likely to reduce paddy output in West Bengal by more than 30 per cent. Apart from standing crops, the entire paddy seed bed, prepared for the winter or Boro season, have been damaged.

More than 70 per cent of paddy crop in Purba Medinipore, Paschim Medinipore, Purulia , Hooghly and Bankura have been smashed. About one lakh tonne of paddy seeds are feared to be destroyed in the floods.

In August, when the state witnessed the first major flood of the year, agriculture production, particularly paddy, was unlikely to drop drastically, in spite of crop damage, due to the use of high yielding variety of seeds.

However, a flood just before the harvest season in November have surfaced substantial standing paddy crop.

In July-August, floods in nine of the 19 districts in the state, including the high rice-productivity districts of Bardhaman, Hooghly, Birbhum and Nadia, destroyed a part of standing crop.  

“Initial estimates suggested this year paddy productivity was much more than usual. However, with the recent floods, the whole of paddy seeds as well as standing crop have been severely destroyed,” said Pranab Chatterjee, professor at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya.

In 2012-13, the state produced 15.3 million tonnes (MT) of rice, an increase of 5.5 per cent over the previous year. This year, the production is likely to be nothing more than 12 million tonnes, against the initial target of 15-16 million tonne, according to Chatterjee.

This year paddy was sown in nearly 4.2 million hecatre land in the Kharif season.

Apart from paddy, floods in West Bengal have damaged farms of betelvine, spices, vegetables and flowers.

At Panskura, marigold farms still dot the flooded fields, but left to be rotten in the inundated fields.  Flowers worth Rs 8 crore have been damaged by the floods in Purba Medinipore. The total horticulture damage is vetted worth Rs 35 crore, of which only vegetable damage is to the tune of Rs 22 crore. The fisheries department reckons a damage of about nearly Rs 9 crore in the district. The kharif harvest season also coincides with the season of betel nut harvest in Purba Medinipore.  Prices of  betal nut have gone up from Rs 120 kg to nearly Rs 200 per kg in one month due to crop loss.

At Mahesidal Cooperative Marketing Society in Tamluk, which procures paddy from farmers on behalf of the government, there would not be any procurement this year, as market prices are much higher than the MSP. The market prices of paddy are likely to at Rs 1,500-1600 per quintal of paddy, against the minimum support price of Rs 1,310 per quintal, according to an official at the cooperative.

Last year, the cooperative saw a record paddy procurement, worth nearly Rs 12 crore. In 2011-12, the state government had procured 3.04 MT of rice from farmers due to crash in prices due over-production. Rice production in West Bengal is spread across three seasons — aus, aman and boro. Kharif rice (aus and aman) alone accounts for about 70 per cent of the state’s total rice production.

West Bengal accounts for 14-16 per cent of India’s rice production.
District                                     Rice Production
a) Bankura                                 5,07,000
b) Paschim Medinipore        17,18,000
c) Purba Medinipore             12,28,000
d) Hooghly                                 9,04,000
e) Purulia                                   2,61,000
f) Total                                        4,618,000
g) Total Rice Production in West Bengal     1,46,34,000

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India Main Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 38.3 Million Hectares; Up 2.4% from Last Year

Area under India’s main (Kharif) season rice crop planting reached around 38.35 million hectares as of October 25, 2013, which is up about 2.4% from around 37.47 million hectares recorded during the same time in 2012, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

The ministry says that planting of Kharif rice is going on in some parts of India, but other Kharif crop planting is almost over. Rabi (secondary) crop planting started in some parts of India this week.

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‘Climate change affecting major food crops’

 New Delhi, Oct. 18: 

Climate change is hitting close to home earlier than expected.

Agricultural production has seen a significant dip due to the effects of climate change, such as increased temperature, floods and drought.

Climate change has resulted in 70 per cent of the country’s land becoming drought-prone, 12 per cent flood-prone, while eight per cent is affected by cyclones.

In a country struggling with rising population and the need to feed more mouths every year, farm production is taking a big hit, according to Sanjoy Bandyopadhyay, Principal Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, who was addressing a meet on Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture, organised by The Energy Research Institute, here on Friday.

He said production of wheat had dropped by six per cent, while rice and mustard production have slipped by four per cent each.

World bank study

A World Bank study had warned in June this year that by 2050, a temperature increase of 2-2.5 degree Celsius is likely (compared with the pre-industrialisation period), which would reduce water availability for food production. It also said that 63 million people in the country may not be able to meet their daily calorific requirement .

Since almost 60 per cent of crop area is rain-fed, change in precipitation would impact food production.

As an example, drought during 1987 affected more than 50 per cent of the crop area, while in 2002, foodgrain production declined by 29 million tonnes compared with the previous year.

Bandyopadhyay said while the number of days of rainfall has declined by more than 15 days, the intensity of the rains has increased significantly.

Further, agricultural production also has to contest increasing frequency and intensity of cyclonic storms.

He said to battle against climate change-induced reduction in farm produce, the adaptation strategies need to be changed.

He said steps such as adoption of stress (heat)-tolerant and water-logging-tolerant varieties of crops, crop diversification, and community seed banks and farmer to farmer seed exchanges need to be encouraged.

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China, India Businesses Invest in Rice Production in Myanmar

Chinese businessmen have struck a deal with Myanmar farmer representatives to grow and procure rice in Myanmar in 2013-14 to benefit from low prices in Myanmar, according to local sources.

Under the deal, China is expected to provide fertilizer and other inputs to Myanmar farmers for rice cultivation. The entire harvest will be purchased by the Chinese businessmen at local prices as per the agreement. Indian businessmen have also struck a similar deal with Myanmar representatives, sources say.

Myanmar is aggressively looking for foreign investment in its rice sector to help the country regain its status as a prominent rice exporter. Currently, rice production in Myanmar is below potential partly due to fluctuating prices and constant farmer debts. The Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar is larger than Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, and foreign investment in the region could boost Myanmar’s rice production and exports significantly.

According to the USDA, Myanmar’s annual rice production is estimated at around 11 million tons, against a consumption of around 10 million tons. However, local sources say that Myanmar’s rice production has increased to around 13-14 million tons.

In the fiscal year 2012-13 (April – March), Myanmar exported around 2.1 million tons of rice, up about 40% from the targeted 1.5 million tons, and almost three times the 750,000 tons exported in the previous fiscal year. Myanmar rice exports have surged mainly due to low prices. Neighboring China is a major buyer of Myanmar rice. Recently, the EU removed import tariffs on rice from Myanmar under the preferential trade scheme for least developed countries.

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India Main Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 37.9 Million Hectares; Up 2% from Last Year

Area under India’s main (Kharif) rice crop planting has advanced to around 37.9 million hectares so far, up about 2% from around 37.3 million hectares recorded during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Total Kharif crop planting (including rice and other crops) area in India stands at around 104.9 million hectares, up about 4% from around 100.5 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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