By Vishal Joshi
As per the Punjab mandi board data, 105 lakh tonnes of paddy arrived till November 1 in the purchase centres across the state. As compared to last year’s figures, the arrival is 19% slower so far.
In the corresponding time in 2022, Punjab recorded 124 lakh tonnes arrival of non-basmati rice in the state mandis.
Experts attribute the slow pace of arrival in the current procurement season to the rains that lashed the state in mid-October which delayed harvesting of paddy.
Paddy procurement by the government agencies commenced from October 1 and the state authorities eye a production of 182 lakh tonnes this year.
Initially, lifting of paddy was hit after the rice millers went on a strike in support of their demands. But the situation improved gradually after millers called off the strike and latest data hints at a speedy lifting of grains from mandis.
Till November 1 evening, 71% of the produce arrived at the mandis was already lifted.
State agriculture director Jaswant Singh said about 60% of paddy was harvested till Wednesday evening.
“Spells of showers around October 15 and 16 affected the harvesting for a week. Contrary to the estimations, improved climatic conditions allowed farmers to expedite rice harvest and there was hardly any adverse impact of unfriendly weather conditions on the crop,” he added.
On the first day of November, 5.81 lakh tonnes of paddy arrived across the state and 5.88 lakh tonnes paddy was purchased in different mandis.
According to the official data, of 105 lakh tonnes, 103 lakh tonnes was purchased to date. The government agencies procured 102 lakh tonnes while farmers sold 48,000 tonnes to private players till November 1.
Data says 98% of the paddy that arrived in the mandis had been purchased by the buyers.
Mandi board figures say at 9.6 lakh tonnes, the maximum paddy arrival has been registered in Ludhiana followed by 8.8 lakh tonnes in Sangrur, 8.7 lakh tonnes in Patiala and 8.1 lakh tonnes in Tarn Taran.
This article has been republished from The Hindustan Times