The sporadic showers in the northern region on Friday are likely to lower paddy output in Punjab and Haryana.
The western disturbances, which led to rain in a few places in the two states, could adversely impact the paddy yield. A total of 3.85 million hectares is expected to be under paddy, with a crop size of 18.2 million tonnes in Punjab and Haryana, and 40 per cent of the crop is still standing in the fields.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has this year mandated strict moisture norms and will not buy crops with moisture beyond 17 per cent. This was due to surplus foodgrain with FCI, said a farmer in Ludhiana. If there is scarcity, paddy with 25-26 per cent moisture is also lifted.
Impact on Haryana
Scientists in Haryana said showers could adversely impact the yield. They said there was waterlogging in a few places in Haryana which were hit by intermittent rain and winds. Waterlogging will adversely impact the grain’s formation, especially of the basmati variety, resulting in lower output. Also, the shower could raise the moisture content in paddy, because of which even private millers might not buy the produce.
Jewel Singla, general secretary, Haryana Pradesh Rice Miller and Dealer Association, said rain could affect the basmati variety in a few districts of the state.
Paddy yield in Haryana this year has been under stress due to multiple reasons. Floods, followed by an extended monsoon, are likely to keep the productivity on the lower side. Haryana had set a target of 1.15 million hectares under paddy this year. Agriculture officials said it had touched 1.15 million hectares, short of last year’s 1.20 million hectares.
Impact on Punjab
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has ordered a special survey to assess the loss. According to sources in the government, Badal directed the financial commissioner (revenue) to issue detailed instructions to the deputy commissioners concerned for carrying out the survey in areas hit by rain and hailstorm and also ascertain the damage to paddy.
Adequate compensation, according to the government’s norms, would be given to the affected farmers, added Badal.