With 6 to 8 per cent per hectare increase in yield this year, paddy production in the state will set a new record.

“Paddy production will touch a figure of 180 lakh tonne this year relegating the earlier record of 171 lakh tonne in 2012-13,” said Gurdial Singh, Director, Agriculture, Punjab.

“Already 135 lakh tonne paddy has been procured by the government and non-government agencies. Last year, 115 lakh tonne had been procured till this date,” said Gurdial Singh.

The arrival of paddy still continues in some grain markets.

As the weather remained conducive for the crop and it faced no trouble at any stage, the increase in yield per hectare is up 8 per cent, he said. “Against last year’s average yield of 59 quintals per hectare, it is up to 64 quintals this year,” he said.

Listing reasons for the increase in production, Financial Commissioner (Development) Suresh Kumar said that this year, the area under ordinary varieties was up by 1 lakh hectares.

Cropping area from basmati varieties was diverted to ordinary varieties. Besides it, weather conditions also remained favourable. The total area under paddy was 28.5 lakh hectares and of it, 7.63 lakh hectares was under basmati.

On the basmati front, farmers faced problems. There were actually no buyers for the basmati varieties at the initial stage. Then, the state government had to intervene to procure basmati.

There are reports of re-cycling of basmati in the market. It has been alleged that some traders bought basmati at a lesser price and later sold it at the minimum support price (Rs 1,450 per quintal).

Source: November 18, 2015, The Tribune