State records unprecedented paddy production of 1.7 cr tonnes this Vaanakalam
Hyderabad: With a steep fall in paddy acreage across the country and an estimated reduction in production, Telangana is likely to retain its title as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ with an unprecedented production of about 1.7 crore tonnes during the ensuing Vaanakalam.
While the country’s paddy production is expected to decline by nearly 1-1.2 crore tonnes compared to the last season, Telangana is estimated to witness a quantum jump of nearly 22 lakh tonnes from 1.48 crore tonnes during the last Vaanakalam.
Paddy cultivation has been taken up in about 64 lakh acres, an increase by nearly 14 lakh acres over last Vaanakalam. The overall crop sowing area in the State was more than 1.34 crore acres, with a whopping 10 lakh acres growth during the corresponding period.
Farmers took up sowing operations in Telangana soon after the monsoon became active across the State. The kharif season contributes to about 80 per cent of India’s total rice production.
“The overall paddy cultivation area is likely to surpass 65 lakh acres in the current season, as paddy transplantations are under way and will be completed by September 20 in some districts. We can reach a conclusion on the total crop production only after September 30,” Agriculture Department officials informed Telangana Today.
Over the last five-six years, Telangana has emerged as a key rice-producing State in the country. Since the State’s formation, the increased irrigation facilities, especially Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) and its affiliated irrigation systems, have encouraged farmers to take up paddy cultivation on a large scale.
Meanwhile, the Centre had recently revealed paddy production estimates, announcing that domestic production could fall by 1-1.2 crore tonnes this Vaanakalam. Due to deficient rainfall in some States, paddy sowing area has declined by 4.95 per cent to 393.79 lakh hectares (approximately 973 lakh acres) from 414.31 lakh hectares (approximately 1,023 lakh acres).
In tune with the estimations, the Centre recently banned rice exports and levied an export duty of 20 per cent on various grades of paddy. These measures were taken to arrest domestic prices and ensure availability of rice.