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Recent good rains in Jharkhand, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh will save the paddy crop and arrest to some extent the anticipated loss in India's rice output in this Kharif season, according to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Director A K Singh.
In its first estimate, the Agriculture Ministry has pegged a 6 per cent drop in the rice production at 104.99 million tonnes in the Kharif season of the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), from over the year-ago period.
Paddy is the main Kharif (summer) crop, sowing of which had begun with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon in June and harvesting starts next month.
Speaking to PTI, IARI Director A K Singh said the lag in paddy sowing due to poor rains in a few states has been a cause of concern.
Fortunately in the last few days, there have been good rains in eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand. This has come as a great relief to farmers as at this particular time water is required for the long-duration paddy varieties crop, he said.
The paddy crop is in the most active phase of growth and this rain will be very helpful, he said, and added, "This (rains) will in fact cool down the anticipated paddy crop loss of 10-15 per cent due to non-availability of rains and poor irrigation."
The rice production loss will be arrested to some extent, which will be captured in the next crop estimate by the ministry, he added.
Till last week, paddy coverage remained lower mainly in Jharkhand by 9.37 lakh hectares, followed by Madhya Pradesh (6.32 lakh hectares), West Bengal (3.65 lakh hectares), Uttar Pradesh (2.48 lakh hectares) and Bihar (1.97 lakh hectares) on account of poor rainfall.
The IARI Director said otherwise, the paddy prospects are bright in the northwestern states of Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Many states have started the harvest of early varieties of paddy like in Pusa-Basmati variety 1509 and 1692.
The average crop yields reported is 25-28 quintals per acre. Farmers are getting Rs 3,500 per quintal for basmati rice in the market. Likewise in non-basmati rice segments, paddy variety PR-126 is already harvested and the arrival has started and crop yields are quite good, he said.
On the impact of rice dwarf disease, Singh said there has been a "slight set back" due to dwarfing in rice which happened due to Fijivirus. This was reported in Uttarakhand, western UP and more in Haryana and Punjab.
It was reported more in non-basmati rice varieties like PR-126 and PR-121, and PR-114. The extent of damage was 10-15 per cent. If you see overall states, not more than 5 per cent of area has been affected, he said.
To check virus transmission from sick plant to healthy one, it is important to control the spread of the disease by timely application of insecticides, he added.
According to the Met Department, the southwest monsoon has started withdrawing and it has withdrawn from parts of southwest Rajasthan and adjoining Kutch.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Thu, September 22 2022. 19:40 IST