Punjab, one of the country’s leading paddy producer is all set for a record crop this kharif season as the State expects to harvest 186 lakh tonnes of paddy on increased acreage and conducive weather conditions.
The Punjab Agriculture Department’s first advance estimate has pegged its paddy (basmati and non-basmati rice varieties) production at a record high of 186 lakh tonnes for the 2016-17 kharif season, nearly 10 lakh tonnes more than last year’s 176 lakh MT.
“We are expecting the paddy production to touch 186 lakh tonnes this year, which would be an all- time high output in Punjab. Last year, despite the shortfall in rains the State had a record paddy output at 176 lakh tonnes..but this year it’s going to be even better,” Jasbir Singh Bains, Director, PAD, told The Hindu.
“This year farmers have grown paddy in more area than last year. Besides the weather conditions have been favourable till now. This is likely to boost the crop yield this season,” he said.
Farmers in Punjab have sown paddy in nearly 30.10 lakh hectares against the 29.75 lakh hectares last year. The State has paddy yield close to 6,000 kg per hectare, according to the Economic Survey 2015-16.
With the Assembly elections nearing, the State government is also gearing up to start purchase of paddy from local farmers. It had recently announced that government procurement would begin by October 1.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in a recent review meeting directed the officials to ensure that the lifting of paddy gets going on the first day itself.
“I would closely monitor the whole process personally. Daily reports regarding the progress in procurement and status update on the lifting should be sent to my office,” he said in a statement.