Kharif paddy sowing almost 15% lesser than last year, shows data




Acreage under paddy, the main food grain grown during the kharif season, continued to be almost 15 per cent less than the same period last year, raising concerns of an at least 10-12 million tonnes (mt) drop in production.



The acreage has been down due to scanty rainfall in the main paddy-growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha. Together, the five states account for more than 40 per cent of India’s total annual production, which is estimated to be over 120 mt.


With around 24 per cent of normal average area in which is grown every year remaining unsown till August 12, there is very limited chance of a big uptick in output as compared to last year, trade and market sources felt.


In the previous kharif season, India produced over 111 mt of . In several states, farmers have moved on to other short duration crops, such as pulses and coarse cereals abandoning .


According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), between June 1 to August 12, cumulatively across the country the southwest monsoon is around 8 per cent more than normal but in major growing states of UP (-44 per cent), West Bengal (-21 per cent), Jharkhand (-41 per cent), and Bihar (-38 per cent). In Telangana, which is another major paddy-growing state, crops have been damaged due to excess rains (+78 per cent).


The drop in acreage has triggered fears of the government clamping down in exports as it did in the case of wheat in May. The only saving grace in case of paddy is that central pool stocks are adequate.


India, the world’s second largest producer and top exporter of rice, commands a 40 per cent share in the global trade. It exported 21.2 mt of rice in the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which 3.94 mt was basmati rice.


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