Lack of rains and power shortage have severely affected sowing of paddy in Punjab, popularly known as the "rice bowl of the country".
According to the state Agriculture Department sources, paddy has been planted in 55% of the total area only so far in the current season mainly due to scarcity of water.
Paddy sowing in Punjab normally starts after June 10, he said, adding that due to lack of monsoon rains plantation has been delayed.
So far paddy has been sown in only 14.5 lakh hectares, the sources said.
The problem is compounded by power crisis due to intense heatwave condition triggering protest from cultivators.
"Delay in sowing of paddy will affect plantation next season," they said.
Despite shortage of migrant labourers, Punjab had completed plantation of paddy on time at a greater pace last year. But due to lack of rains as well as shortage of migrant labourers, the situation has turned bad this season.
Punjab, which contributes almost 30% of country's rice procurement, produced about 10.5 million tonnes of rice in 2011-12 (July-June).