Rice production in India, the world’s second largest producer after China, may achieve the target this year even as deficient monsoon is expected to lower output of other crops.
The output may be between 106-108 million tonnes, KV Prabhu, joint director at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IGRI), said in New Delhi on Thursday. Despite an overall deficit in rainfall, rice yield has improved due to adoption of new technology, he said. As of now, he also foresaw no problem for rabi rice.
India received 14 per cent lower than normal rains during the June-September monsoon season as the emergence of El Nino in the second half of the year affected the weather pattern. The government has estimated kharif foodgrain output to fall to 124.05 million tonnes from 126.31 million tonnes a year earlier.
The kharif rice output is pegged at 90.61 million tonnes in the first advance estimate by the agriculture ministry. The first estimates of crops are normally pegged at a conservative level and revised upwards in subsequent releases. The government has targeted 106.1 million tonnes of rice production this year from both kharif and rabi seasons.
As farmers make every effort to protect their crops and increase yield, the government should also help them when prices fall, Prabhu said. He also said that the government should set up a trading company exclusively for basmati rice.
“Demand for basmati rice will not reduce. As traders control the system, the government should think of increasing the holding capacity of farmers so that they are not forced to sell on distress,” said Prabhu, one of the breeders who developed Pusa 1509 basmati rice that yields the highest quantity in little time.
A farmer gets 5.5 tonnes of paddy in Pusa 1509 in 120 days while the productivity drops to about 4 tonnes in another high yielding Pusa 1121 basmati variety.
Currently, farmers of these two basmati varieties are not even realising their cost of production, he said, adding things would have been different had farmers heeded to the advice of finishing transplanting during the first week of August.
As the duration of the crop is 120 days compared with 145 days or more in case of other varieties, farmers should plan in such a way that it can be harvested from end of October, Prabhu explained.
(Soure – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/india-may-achieve-rice-production-target-of-106-mt)