Showing optimism for a significant rise in rice output this year,agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday said paddy sowing has picked up in eastern Uttar Pradesh due to good rains in last 4-5 days,but the situation is still bad in some parts of West Bengal,Bihar and Jharkhand.
In five districts of West Bengal and certain districts in Jharkhand and Bihar,the situation is not good. While in eastern Uttar Pradesh,the situation was worrisome for a week. But in the last 4-5 days,it is continuously raining and sowing is picking up, Pawar told reporters here.
However,Pawar noted that sowing operations can take place till August-end in eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh,known as the rice bowl of the state.
However,overall area under sowing of kharif crops such as paddy,pulses and oilseeds has so far been better than last year’s. Production is expected to be better than last year. My problem is storage, he noted.
The minister said that on the back of good monsoon,paddy area has increased by 9% to 27.4 million hectare so far in the ongoing kharif season (June-September),against 25.1 million hectare in the same period last year.
According to the official data,area under pulses cultivation has increased to 10.3 million so far this kharif season from 8.5 million hectare in the same period last year.
Oilseeds acreage has risen to 15.8 million hectare from 15 million hectare,while that of cotton area has risen to 10.49 million hectare from 9.49 million hectare in the review period.
So far this kharif season,the total sowing area has risen to 88.9 million hectare from 80.7 million hectare in the same period of 2009,it added.
Due to failure of the monsoon last year,the paddy production in 2009-10 fell by around 14% to 89.13 million tonne. According to the ministry of agriculture,in 2008-09 India produced 99.18 million tonne of rice.
During 2009-10,the country’s foodgrain production dropped to 218.2 million tonne from a record 234.47 million tonne in the previous year.
Agriculture secretary on PK Basu recently said that rice production this year could touch 100 million tonne during 2010-11 crop year because of normal monsoon As we get some rice during rabi season also and going by good rains in August and September,we can reach 100 million tonnes, agriculture secretary PK Basu had said.