Factors like use of high-yielding seeds and a good rainfall are expected to boost rice productivity this year, according to experts.
"Initial estimates show this year paddy productivity is much more than usual. While it is early to predict actual production, rice production this year is likely to higher than what it was last year," said Pranab Chatterjee, professor at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV).
In 2012-13, West Bengal produced 15.3 million tones of rice, an increase of 5.5 percent over previous year
"This year, new seed varieties and better pesticide and insecticide management contributed to good growth of crop," said Ramaprasad Biswas, a farmer in Nadia.
This year, the state government has set the target of increasing rice productivity by 500 kg per hectare, on account new varieties of seeds introduced as part of second green revolution in the east, said Chatterjee. The average rice productivity in West Bengal is close to 2500 kg per hectare.
In July-August, floods in nine out of 19 districts, including high rice productivity districts of Burdwan, Hooghly, Birbhum and Nadia, in West Bengal had destroyed a part of standing paddy crop.
Last year, in spite of a delayed monsoon, the price of paddy crashed due to excess, but low quality production.
The crash was on account of higher production in the boro season, which discouraged the farmers to sow paddy seeds during kharif season.West Bengal contributes 14-16 per cent of India's rice production.
The price of paddy in the domestic market had crashed to as low as Rs 850-900 per quintal, against the minimum support price of Rs 1,080 per quintal, due to import of rice from Jharkhand and Orissa.The state government had procured about 3.04 million tonnes of paddy during 2011-12.
Till May this year, the state had procured 2.71 million tones of paddy was procured up to May 2013..Rice is cultivated in 18 districts of West Bengal. Out of which 4 districts are under high productivity group, 9 districts are under medium productivity group, 3 districts are under medium-low productivity group and 2 districts are under low productivity group.