By Ruchika M Khanna
With crop on approximately 10,000 hectares of cultivable land being totally damaged after two floods in July and August in Punjab, the state government is looking at a bumper paddy crop.
Arrangements are being made to purchase 182 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of paddy this year, once the procurement starts next month. Last year, 182.29 LMT of paddy was purchased by the government agencies in the state.
“We are looking at procuring 182 LMT of paddy this year. A Cash Credit Limit (CCL) of Rs 44,000 crore is being sought from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), when we meet the officers in the apex regulatory bank in the third week of this month,” confirmed Principal Secretary, Food and Supply, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.
It may be mentioned that the flash floods in July, followed by the flooding of fields by the overflowing rivers carrying rainwater from Himachal Pradesh in August, had brought large swathes of land under water for several days. “Though 2.52 lakh hectares under paddy crop was flood affected, crop on approximately 10,000 hectares were totally damaged and could not be recovered,” said Punjab Director, Agriculture, Jaswant Singh. He added that re-sowing done on 86,000 hectares had been successful.
Interestingly, Punjab government in its report to the Central government’s inter-ministerial team, had said that 2.52 lakh hectares (or 6.25 lakh acres) of cultivated land had been damaged by floodwaters, nearly a month ago. However, the Centre is yet to reply to the state for the enhanced compensation of losses caused by floods, including increase in compensation for loss caused to standing crops.
The only concession given to the state has been the Centre’s approval for allowing compensation to farmers for the loss of paddy seedlings as loss of inputs.
This year, the area under paddy crop is about 32 lakh hectares, an increase of 32,000 hectares as compared to 2022-23. The total production last year was 205 LMT, of which 182.29 LMT was brought to the market for sale. This year, the paddy production is expected to touch 208 LMT, of which 182 LMT will be the marketable surplus.
Paddy production to go up
- Area under paddy this year is up by 32,000 hectares
- Area under paddy affected by floods is 2.52 lakh hectares
- Of this, no paddy crop has been grown on 10,000 hectares
- Government hopes to procure 182 LMT with CCL of Rs 44,000 cr
- Total paddy production set to rise from 205 LMT in 2022-23 to 208 LMT this year
This article has been republished from The Tribune