Despite flooding in Punjab, paddy purchase exceeds target

By Ruchika M Khanna

Paddy procurement from Punjab has crossed the target of 180 lakh metric tonne, thanks to short duration variety of paddy (PR 126) giving a high yield this year.

The total paddy arrival in the mandis has touched 183.18 lakh metric tonne, with 182.12 lmt being purchased. The total procurement could reach 187 lmt. On an average, 75,000 metric tonne of paddy is expected to arrive in the mandis each day till the end of procurement season on November 30.

Officials in the state Agricultural Department say that the total paddy production is expected to cross 206 lmt.

“We have seen an increase in the paddy yield this year. Last year, the average paddy yield was 68.12 quintal per hectare, which has increased to 75 quintal this year. Across different districts, the paddy yield has been in the range of 69-81 quintal per hectare,” Punjab’s Director of Agriculture Jaswant Singh told The Tribune.

Farmers and officers in the state Agriculture Department have told The Tribune that after the floods hit the state in July and later in August, many farmers opted for PR 126 variety of non-basmati paddy for sowing.

“The area under PR 126 was 29 per cent this year and 17 per cent was under PUSA 44. The yield of PR 126 was on a par with the yield of PUSA 44, ensuring the overall higher production and higher yield,” said Jaswant Singh.

The high production has also raised concerns about the storage space for the milled rice that will start coming back from rice mills, where paddy is sent directly from the mandis.

B Srinivasan, General Manager of the FCI, Punjab State Region, told The Tribune that they were moving 13-14 lmt of grains stored in the state’s godowns to the recipient states every month. “We have 40 lmt of space to store the rice. By January, when the milled rice starts arriving, we have to create another 35 lmt of space. By March, we will have enough space to store the entire rice milled this year,” he said.

This article has been republished from The Tribune.

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