India - Paddy production likely to decline in Alappuzha

13.05.2022 175 views

Paddy production in Alappuzha is set for massive decline as the 'puncha' crop (first crop) season is nearing completion.

The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) has so far procured 89,000 tonnes of paddy from the district, mostly from Kuttanad.

“The harvest has been completed in majority of fields. We expect to procure 11,000 tonnes more in the coming days. Overall, we were expecting to procure 1.2 tonnes to 1.3 lakh tonnes of paddy from Alappuzha in the ‘puncha’ crop season. But as per our revised assessment, the total procurement at the end of the season would be around one lakh,” said Anil K. Anto, Paddy Marketing Officer.

According to officials, the output would decline by roughly 20% to 25% compared with the 2020-21 'puncha' crop season. Last season the production stood at 1.37 lakh tonnes.

As per the data, paddy was sown in over 26,000 hectares spread across some 600 padasekharams this season compared to 25,000 ha. a year ago.

Rain damage

Agriculture department officials blamed the crop loss due to heavy rains that lashed the region last month for the poor output.

As per the preliminary assessment, the agriculture sector in the district suffered losses to the tune of around ₹124 crore. The paddy sector alone incurred a loss of about ₹112 crore. The rain and waterlogging had destroyed standing paddy crops in 6,400 ha. belonging to 8,467 farmers.

Earlier, the sowing for 'puncha' season got delayed in several areas due to heavy downpours and floods that lashed the district in October-November last year. As a result, the harvest and procurement of paddy have gone beyond the normal schedule and fell prey to the summer rains.

Other than the decline in production, procurement is also facing issues in several places as farmers and mill owners lock horns over moisture content and poor quality of the produce. This has led to a delay in procurement in some places with harvested paddy remaining in open fields.

Officials said the issues would be sorted out and the entire harvest would be procured without further delay.

Source - https://www.thehindu.com

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