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IRRI to provide technological support to Assam farmers

Guwahati, Mar 18:  The Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has agreed to provide technological support to Assam farmers for popularising water-resistant paddy varieties.

A delegation from IRRI recently visited the state’s flood-prone crop land and observed that Assam could easily become a rice-surplus state by reducing flood-induced crop damage and also contribute significantly to the nation’s food security, an official release said here today.

IRRI’s Director General, Robert Zeigler and other members of the delegation had a discussion with the state’s Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka and emphasised on local trials in agro-climatic zones for introducing and ensuring variety adaptability.

Zeigler stressed the need for “phase-wise strategic improvement of capacity building” so that stakeholders, especially the farming community, could have their own decision making power.

The IRRI developed Swarna SUB-1 variety of paddy has already been cultivated after the state procured two tonnes of seeds.

Submergence-tolerant paddy varieties assume importance here in view of the recurring damages caused to crops by floods.

Of the state’s net crop area of 28.11 lakh hectares, 4.93 lakh hectares happen to be chronically flood-prone.

Rice production in the state, spread over an area of 24.88 lakh hectares, during 2012-13 stood at 52.33 MT.

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India Northeastern State Assam Rice Farmers Achieve Higher Yields with Flood Tolerant Varieties

Rice farmers in the northeast Indian state of Assam have achieved yields of up to 3 - 4 tons per hectare using the Swarna Submergence-1 (SS-1) submergence-resistant paddy Seeds, which are an updated version of India's popular flood tolerant hybrid rice variety 'Swarna'.

The average rice yield in Assam stands at around 1.93 tons per hectare, while the national average during is around 3.5 tons per hectare. However, floods often destroy the entire rice crop in flood-prone regions of Assam.

The Assam Agriculture Department (AAD) began experimenting with the SS-1 seeds by distributing around 17,000 kilograms of seeds to farmers in the state's flood-prone districts during the June - July cultivation season in 2012. The state managed to produce 5.2 million tons of rice during FY 2012-13 (April – March) and farmers were impressed with this flood-tolerant variety. With increased output, the AAD has expanded the SS-1 variety usage to 40,000 hectares of land mostly in flood-affected areas. With the SS-1 seeds, the AAD expects to produce about 6.1 million tons in the FY 2013-14.

SS-1 seeds were developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 2009. Scientists modified the 'Swarna' variety by introducing gene Sub1 (for submergence) that helps plants survive under water up to two weeks, yet give higher yields. The seeds have been tried in coastal districts of India's southern states Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, which are mainly rained lands and are prone to floods.

Scientists say the yield advantage of SS-1 variety increases as flood severity worsens and can increase the yield up to 66% even after 13 days of flooding. The SS-1 seeds can yield up to 3 - 3.5 tons per hectare when submerged for 13-15 days and up to 6 tons per hectare in normal conditions.

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Indian, Aus scientists working on genetically improved rice

Scientists from India and Australia have found that a native Australian grass growing in Queensland state could hold the key to ensuring the long-term viability of rice, a crop critical to global food security.

Deputy Director of Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, Sagadevan Mundree, said rice is one of the most important staple foods throughout the world but salinity and drought stresses were putting the crop's long-term future under enormous pressure.

Mundree heads a team of scientists working in partnership with scientists in India to determine whether strategies adopted by the Australian native resurrection grass could be used to genetically improve abiotic stress tolerance in rice. "QUT has developed a strategic partnership with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi and the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) in Coimbatore in southern India," Mundree said.

The native Australian grass is called a "resurrection plant" because it can tolerate extreme environmental stresses, including severe drought, salinity, high temperature and high light-intensity stresses for prolonged periods and resurrect within 24-72 hours upon rehydration.

"There is an urgent need to develop more resilient varieties of rice that can cope with less water and are more tolerant of salinity stress," Mundree said.



Kerala paddy farmers expect a bonanza

Farmers in Palakkad, Alappuzha and Thrissur have pleasantly been surprised by what looks like a bumper paddy crop this season, but some of them, specially those in Palakkad, may not be able to reap the full benefits of the high price for paddy being offered by the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) which has put a quantity-per-hectare ceiling on procurement.

Farmers in Palakkad, who took to machine planting, have reported yields of about nine tonnes a hectare. However, Supplyco ceiling for procurement at Rs.19 a kg is 5.5 tonnes a hectare. But a Supplyco official said that farmers in Palakkad would be able to sell their entire harvest provided they produced a certificate of production from their respective agricultural officers.

The official said that the ceiling had been imposed to prevent cheaper paddy from neighbouring States like Tamil Nadu being sold to the corporation. Supplyco offers the highest procurement price for paddy in the country, the official claimed.

The high procurement price has made it attractive for unscrupulous elements to smuggle in paddy and sell it for a profit, passing the consignments as local produce. Though small farmers would not be able to engage in such operations, agents have been found indulging in it. Paddy sells between Rs.15 and Rs.16 a kg in the open market in Kerala.
Kole area

Farmers in Thrissur’s Kol areas have also reported higher than normal yields this season. Most of Kuttanad is expecting better yields this season despite the unusually dry conditions in December and January. Reports from the area, where harvesting is about a week old, said the yield is in the vicinity of 7.5 tonnes a hectare.

The Supplyco procurement ceiling is 7.5 tonnes a hectare in Kuttanad and eight tonnes a hectare for Thrissur Kol.

The high procurement price has made farmers rush to Supplyco. The corporation has procured more than 70,000 tonnes of paddy this season and about 30,000 tonnes of this is from Palakkad. Procurement in Alappuzha is more than 5,000 tonnes and in Thrissur it is more than 20,000 tonnes. Procurement in Kottyam district has gone up to more than 12,000 tonnes. Central to this season’s bumper crop is the Uma variety of paddy, developed by the Mankombu rice research station of Kerala Agricultural University and released in 1998.

A senior scientist at the Rice Research Station told The Hindu on Sunday that researchers were yet to develop a variety that would out-yield Uma. The variety was developed with the specific conditions in Kuttanad in mind, where excessive acidity and pest attacks are major problems.

The scientist said that yields have been up to eight tonnes a hectare during some of the past seasons and this year the crop has been bit of a surprise because the climatic conditions appeared to be adverse given that there were no rains in November-December. Occasional rain during these months helps wash out the excessive acidity in the soil.

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Eastern India can be country's rice bowl: Assocham

The country's eastern region has the tremendous potential to emerge as the country's 'rice bowl', a recent study industry body Assocham said.

The study titled 'Towards Second Green Revolution in Eastern India: A Road Map' also said the eastern region would be able to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about ten per cent in paddy production, if the country manages to bridge the gap between potential yield and actual yield.

"The paddy production in the eastern region of India can reach about 670 lakh tonnes (LT) by 2017-18 from the current level of over 580 LT as the region holds tremendous potential to emerge as the 'Rice Bowl of India,' as every quintal increase in yield would push rice production by over two million tonnes," the study said.

West Bengal spearheads eastern India in paddy production to the tune of about 150 lakh MT followed by eastern UP (140 LT), Odisha (70 LT), Bihar (68 LT), Chhattisgarh (63 LT), Assam (47 LT) and Jharkhand (34 LT), it said.

According to the study, Odisha's paddy production may reach 82 LT in three to four years time period.

By 2017-18, the study predicted, Odisha can reach this feat through increased usage of high yielding varieties of seeds, improved soil drainage, spreading rice-fish culture and taking other such measures.

It also said that discouraging rice cultivation in marginal lands and diversifying in favour of oilseeds and pulses, utilisation of rice fallows are certain significant steps required to increase cropping intensity and crop productivity in Odisha.

In its study, Assocham has suggested that apart from rice suitable evaluation of promoting other crops like maize, pulses and oilseeds should be undertaken for optimum utilisation of land and local needs in the region.



Over 3,100 hectares to come under summer paddy

The State agriculture department has proposed to cover over 3,100 hectares under summer paddy cultivation for achieving the food production target in the district.

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technique is being recommended for this cultivation, as it demands less water for irrigation. Against the usual 1,500 hectares, the department has planned to cover 3,100 hectares in all the blocks except Avudaiyarkovil and Manamelkudi.
An average yield of six tonnes per hectare expected during the current summer cultivation season.— File Photo: B. Velankanni Raj
The nursery is raised for 14 days and the popular variety is 'BPT 5204'.

“Farmers have a liking for the variety, though other varieties could also be cultivated under the system,” K.M.Shajahan, Joint Director of Agriculture, told The Hindu . The summer cultivation has various unique features, including raised bed nursery technique.

It can be raised as a second crop in Cauvery Mettur Project (CMP) areas and requires only two kg of seeds for one acre of crop. The mechanical transplanting ensures uniform spacing of nine inches – between rows and plants.



India Average Wholesale Rice Prices Increase in February 2014

Average monthly wholesale rice prices in India increased to around Rs. 2,731 per quintal in February 2014, up about 1% from around Rs. 2,702 per quintal in January 2014, and up about 4% from around Rs.2,627 per quintal seen a year ago in February 2013, according to official sources.

In terms of USD per ton, average wholesale rice prices in India stand at about $440 per ton (using current exchange rates) in February 2014, up about 2% from around $429 per ton (using historical exchange rates) in January 2014, but down about 10% from around $488 per ton (using historical exchange rates) seen in February 2013.

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Rice Husk Can Fuel Power Plants in Rice Mills, Finds Study

Rice husk, which is mostly a waste product from rice milling, can be used to generate power in rice mills, according to a study by the Affiliated Renewable Energy Center, Central Philippine University (CPU-AREC).

The study on “Rice Husk potential as Energy Source in Panay, Philippines” finds that rice husk can be used to generate energy, which can be alternately used for other purposes like drying in the rice mills. According to Mr. Jeriel G. Militar, Project Director of CPU-AREC, approximately 290 kilograms of rice husk is obtained from a ton of paddy rice milled and it is usually left on paddy fields to be decayed or burned. Most of the mills face difficulty in disposing it. Though the rice husk is used as fuel for cook stoves, pottery kilns, ovens and dyers, its use is by far very limited.

According to the study, rice husk has high calorific value of about 3,000 kcal/kg and it is a renewable source of energy as well as a non-carbon fuel. Mr. Militar and team found that one ton of rice husk can produce approximately 726.46 Kilo watts of energy per hour and 82.93 megawatts of power. They recommend setting up of rice husk fueled power plants in rice mills.

However generating power from rice husk has some disadvantages. Rice husk is difficult to store because of its bulky nature and ash content from rice husk (17 - 26%) is much more than that from wood (0.2 - 2%) and coal (12.2%). The total cost of setting up plant and running it is pretty high. Mr.Militar and his team are identifying rice mills which are ready to invest in rice husk power plants in each municipality in the Panay province of the Philippines. However, the study will be useful in countries such as Pakistan, where power costs are high and supply is inconsistent.

The team is also considering recommendations of earlier studies on the subject. According to previous studies, direct combustion is recommended for most heat applications and gasification is recommended for small to medium scale applications. Already some rice mills in Nueva Ecija province are using 'Flatbed Paddy Dryer' using direct combustion and 'Flatbed Paddy Dryer' using gasifier. Similarly a rice mill in Isabela province has set up 1-MW rice husk fueled Power Plant and another mill in the same province has set up a 2- MW Power Plant.

The study also says that the Philippines government is providing various incentives for energy utilization of rice husk under the Renewable Energy Law.



India likely to export 18 mln tonnes rice, wheat in 2013/14

India is likely to export about 18 million tonnes of rice and wheat in 2013/14, the government's adviser on farm prices said, as the world's second-biggest producer of these grains looks for ways to handle another record crop.

Ashok Gulati also suggested India should release 15-20 million tonnes of the grains for open market sales to cut massive mounds of stocks and help ease food inflation.

India, the world's biggest rice and wheat producer after China, exported 22 million tonnes of the grains in the last fiscal year to March 31, 2013 after New Delhi lifted a four-year-old ban on overseas shipments of the staples in late 2011.

"Exports of 2012/13 and likely exports this year mean 40 million tonnes of shipments. You look at whatever historical data you have, India has never ever done that," said Gulati, chairman of the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices.

Gulati has advocated regular exports of rice and wheat from India. Rising rice exports helped India replace Thailand as the world's top rice exporter and wheat shipments picked up at the expense of rival suppliers Russia and Ukraine.

Unlike wheat, India does not export rice from government warehouses but shipments totalled about 10 million tonnes in 2012/13 and Gulati said they may be 11 million tonnes this year.

Global wheat prices fell 25.6 percent to $6.05 a bushel in 2013 due to oversupply, with benchmark Chicago futures still hovering around that level.

Global rice supplies are seeing a sharp increase as the embattled government of Thailand rushes to liquidate its stockpiles in order to pay farmers and avoid further protests.

Benchmark Thai rice prices fell as much as 15 percent last week.


Despite its export push, India sits on huge stocks of grains, thanks to bumper harvests since 2007. It took steps to boost production after unfavourable weather conditions hit the 2006 wheat harvest, forcing India to import large quantities from Australia at sky-high prices.

Stocks at government warehouses are still 2.25 times more than targets and lack of storage means much rots away even though India tries to provide cheap food to about 800 million.

"We have been recommending to the government to immediately liquidate 15-20 million tonnes of rice and wheat. Holding on to such high stocks is unnecessary," said Gulati, who is about to leave office after a nearly three-year term as the adviser.

The government buys rice and wheat from local farmers at a fixed price which is raised every year to encourage production, build stocks to supply subsidised food and meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices.

Hefty production and higher purchases by the government inflate the subsidy bill, which the government has pegged at 1.15 trillion rupees ($18.53 billion). Food Minister K.V. Thomas has said the subsidy could touch 1.3 trillion rupees, a major worry for the government as it tries to rein in public finances.

Stocks are going to swell further as India's harvest from the current crop year to June 2014 is forecast to be a record 263.2 million tonnes of grains.

Despite rising production, local prices of grains have jumped because government purchases leave only a small surplus in the market.

Domestic prices of rice and wheat combined rose 11.42 percent in January from a year ago, helping to push up food inflation to 9.90 percent, government data showed.

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Paddy procurement centres at six places

Direct paddy procurement centres have been set up at six places in Srivaikuntam, Tiruchendur and Tuticorin taluks in the district.

Joint Director of Agriculture N.K. Dhakshinamoorthy said here on Monday that the centres had been opened at Srivaikuntam, Kurumbur, Nazareth, Vasavappapuram, Iruvappapuram and Kulayankarisal. The paddy procurement price had been fixed at Rs. 1,360 for one quintal of common variety and Rs. 1,415 for Grade –A variety.

Paddy harvesting was in progress at some places in the district. During ‘kar’ and ‘pisanam’ seasons last year, paddy was cultivated on 9, 863 hectares. Since the start of 2014, the crop had been raised on 1,781 hectares.

Paddy cultivation had been taken up under summer crop package as per a directive of Collector M. Ravikumar. Four blocks with potential were identified. Under the package, the government had set a target to cover 2,600 hectares at Srivaikuntam, Alwarthirunagari, Karungulam and some parts of Tuticorin. Owing to late planting in Tiruchendur, the harvest was expected by April. With just a month away, he said the officials were hopeful of achieving the target. He said 819 more hectares would be covered under this programme by the end of March.

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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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Rice farmer cultivates 80 paddy varieties

A farmer in Dakshina Kannada is proud to own 80 varieties of paddy, most of them being traditional ones.

B.K. Deva Rao of Mittabagilu village, 16 km from Ujire, now sows them on rotation basis on 42 plots spread over six acres on the foothills of the Western Ghats.

He cultivated 40 varieties from April to October and the other 40 from October to March. Hence, all were saved. According to him, he used only “hatti gobbara” (organic manure) to grow them.

The paddy in his possession includes not just the ones cultivated in the coastal belt but also elsewhere. It includes some hybrid varieties as well.
Farmer B.K. Deva Rao of Mittabagilu village in his field on the foothills of the Western Ghats.
Pointing out at a Manipuri variety, Mr. Rao told The Hindu that the grain was light blue in colour. A doctor had given him a Thailand variety called “Jasmine”, he said.

Mr. Rao said that till 1979, he had grown 40 varieties of paddy. It was from then that he started using chemical fertilizers till 1988 as the government introduced hybrid varieties such as IR-8, Jaya and Shakthi during this period.

As the focus shifted to hybrid varieties, sowing traditional ones lagged behind. Hence, the stock of varieties came down to nine. During this time, he observed that the soil had turned hard due to the use of chemical fertilizers.

Subsequently, Mr. Rao said, he switched to natural farming and after 2000, he started collecting varieties that he had lost and the ones which were not in his possession.

Mr. Rao said that some of the traditional varieties such as “Samunga” or “Kumkuma” were still not available. “Kolanjipille” and “Jeerigesale” varieties are also lost, he said.

Some of the varieties in his possession are “Meese Bhatta”, “Kalame”, “Atikaya”, “Raja Kayame”, “Suggi Kayame”, “Tonnur”, “Navara”, “Gandhasale”, “Aden Kelte”, “Gidda Bhatta” and “Shasthitka (a two-and-a-half month crop).

His son, B.K. Parameshwar Rao, a mechanical engineer-turned-agriculturist, said that usually paddy seed lost full germination capacity if stored beyond eight months after harvest. Hence, they would have to be sown annually to preserve quality.

Mr. Deva Rao has received awards and felicitations from government departments and non-government organisations for his attempt to preserve paddy varieties.

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Kerala lost over 6 lakh hectares of paddy fields in 30 years

KANNUR: Kerala has lost huge expanses of paddy fields in the past few decades and we have just around 2.75 lakh hectares of paddy field left in the state compared to over nine lakh hectares thirty years back thus resulting in major reduction in paddy production, according to experts.

"Though we require over 40 lakh tonnes of rice per year today, our production is just six lakh tonnes and we have to depend on other states for our needs," said A S Anilkumar, agronomy professor at College of Agriculture, Padannakkad, addressing a seminar organized by the Department of Agriculture in Kasargod collectorate on Thursday.

Since the lost paddy fields cannot be reclaimed, then only way is to increase the productivity in the remaining paddy fields through mechanization and modern methods of cultivation, he said. Thought this the issue of labourer scarcity can also be effectively addressed.

"As of now we produce only five tonnes of paddy per hectare, and this should be increased to at least 10 tonnes," he said pointing out that in the states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh the production is to the tune of 20 tonnes per hectare.

Earlier, agriculture minister K P Mohanan distributed Rs one lakh each to ten Padasekhara Samithis in the district in a separate function in the same venue.

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किसानों को नहीं मिल रहा भुगतान

रायबरेली, जागरण संवाददाता :  प्रदेश सरकार ने धान बिक्री करने के लिए खरीद केंद्र आने वाले किसानों को भले ही तुरंत भुगतान करने का निर्देश जारी कर रखा है। लेकिन स्थिति यह है कि जिले के सरकारी धान खरीद केंद्रों पर किसानों को भुगतान नहीं किया जा रहा है। पीसीएफ, खाद्य एवं विपणन समेत कई एजेंसियां किसानों का भुगतान समय से नहीं कर रही हैं।

जिले में 56 सरकारी केंद्रों पर अब तक दस हजार मीट्रिक टन से अधिक धान खरीदा गया है। पीसीएफ और अन्य एजेंसियां किसानों का भुगतान नहीं कर रही है। जगतपुर, ऊंचाहार, लालगंज, हरचंदपुर आदि क्षेत्रों में खुले पीसीएफ केंद्रों पर धान तो खरीद लिया गया है। लेकिन भुगतान के लिए संबंधित बैंकों के खाते में रुपया नहीं है। किसानों के कहने पर दो चार लाख भेजा जाता है। किसान पहले से बैंक में चेक लगाए घूम रहे हैं। इस कारण जिले में गेहूं की तरह धान खरीद की स्थिति भी संतोष जनक नहीं है। जिसके परिणाम स्वरूप साढ़े तीन माह में लक्ष्य का आधा धान ही खरीदा जा सका है। धान खरीद में शुरू से ही लापरवाही की जा रही है। किसान नेता संतोष चौधरी ने कहा कि पीसीएफ खरीद केंद्रों पर खरीदे गए धान का किसानों को भुगतान नहीं किया जा रहा है। पीसीएफ के प्रबंधक राघव किशोर ने बताया कि सीएमआर का भुगतान करने की वजह से कुछ दिक्कत आ रही थी। रुपये का इंतजाम कर लिया गया हैं, सभी बैंकों के खाते में पैसा भेजा गया है। अन्य एजेंसिया भी भुगतान कर रही है।

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Up 33% from Last Year

Area under India's Rabi (winter) rice crop planting stands at about 2.8 million hectares as of February 14, 2014, which is up about 33% from about 2.10 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 65.67 million hectares, which is up about 6% from about 62.14 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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‘చిరు’ రైతులకు ‘పెద్ద’ అవార్డులు

Courtesy :  Andhra jyothi news paper. Date 19.02.2014


15,000 tonnes of paddy procured

The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation has reached the halfway mark in paddy procurement in Erode district.

So far, 15,000 out of 30,000 tonnes anticipated have been procured through the 28 Direct Procurement Centres established throughout the district.

The rest of the procurement would be made by mid-March, said C. Muruganantham, Regional Manager of the corporation. The procurement process began last November.Last year, the procurement was nil despite the corporation opening a handful of district centres because of the drought conditions. With the water position in the Bhavani Sagar Dam comfortable, the Public Works Department was able to release water for paddy cultivation last August.The harvest was much higher — over 40,000 tonnes — during 2011-12.Farmers are given Rs. 14.15 a kg for Grade A varieties and Rs. 13.80 for common varieties. The corporation’s storage capacity is about 40,000 tonnes at its two godowns — 25,000 at Perundurai, and 15,000 at Sivagiri.This year, the entire paddy crop procured in the district had moisture content within the permitted upper limit of 16 per cent. This year, the supply of 30 winnowing machines made the task of cleaning the paddy before procurement easier, said Mr. Muruganantham, adding that the sunny weather condition in the harvest period has helped farmers to keep the moisture content within the specified limit.



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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तय लक्ष्य से अधिक हुई धान की खरीद

बीएस संवाददाता / जगदलपुर February 16, 2014:

सरकारी धान खरीद के मामले में बस्तर जिला प्रदेश के 27 जिलों में से 18वें स्थान पर रहा। 13 हजार से अधिक किसानों ने जिले के खरीद केंद्र्रों में करीब 138 करोड़ रुपये का धान बेचा है। जिले के 58 धान खरीद केंद्र में इस साल लक्ष्य से अधिक की खरीद की गई। पिछले साल धान खरीद के मामले में बस्तर 19वें स्थान पर था। बस्तर जिले में इस साल 9 लाख क्विंटल धान खरीद का लक्ष्य निर्धारित किया गया था जबकि 14 फरवरी तक करीब 10 लाख 40 हजार क्विंटल धान की खरीद की जा चुकी है। मार्कफेड ने इस साल उपार्जन केंद्रों के लिए मांग के अनुरूप 4 हजार से अधिक बारदाने भेजी थी। लेकिन बड़े पैमाने पर धान की खरीद होने के कारण गोदाम की कमी के चलते बारदानों को निजी गोदामों और मंडी में रखना पड़ा था।

इस बार धान रखने के लिए प्लास्टिक के बारदाने का उपयोग नहीं किया गया। इस साल बस्तर जिले के 13 हजार 800 किसानों ने 21 अक्टूबर से 14 फरवरी तक 138 करोड़ रुपये का धान बेचा, जिसमें पतले धान की मात्रा अधिक है। जिला सहकारी बैंक से मिली जानकारी के मुताबिक बस्तर, बकावंड और जगदलपुर के साथ ही लोहंडीगुड़ा ब्लाक के किसानों ने धान अधिक बेचा है।

धान बेचने के लिए किसान बड़े पैमाने पर इस साल खरीदी केंद्रों पर पहुंचे लेकिन कर्ज पटाने में उनकी लापरवाही सामने आई। जिला सहकारी केंद्रीय बैंक से 14 हजार से अधिक किसानों ने 84 करोड़ रुपये का कर्ज लिया था जिनमें से अब तक 13 हजार 800 किसानों ने 45 करोड़ 76 लाख रुपये का कर्ज का भुगतान किया है। यह स्थिति तब है, जब जिला सहकारी केंद्रीय बैंक ने सभी लैंप्स संचालकों को 15 फरवरी तक 75 फीसदी कर्ज वसूली का लक्ष्य दिया था। इस बारे में जिला सहकारी केंद्रीय बैंक के विपणन अधिकारी आरबी सिंह का कहना है कि बैंक से जिन किसानों ने कर्ज लिया है, उनसे पूरी राशि वसूली जाएगी। किसानों के पास अब भी 3 महीने बचे हैं। इस बीच उनसे कर्ज वसूली जारी रहेगी।

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