Paddy sowing deficit narrows to 4.9% from 12% in 4 weeks | The Financial Express

Paddy sowing deficit narrows to 4.9% from 12% in 4 weeks

Overall kharif crops sowing marginally less than a year ago

Paddy sowing deficit narrows to 4.9% from 12% in 4 weeks
Area under paddy in West Bengal, the largest rice-producing state, was down by 9% on year on Friday while four weeks ago the deficit was 31%.

The deficit in paddy sowing has declined in the last four weeks because of revival of monsoon rains in parts of key growing regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

As per the data released by the agriculture ministry on Friday, the deficit in paddy sown regions has reduced to 4.9% against the same period last year, while the decline was 12% for the week ended August 12.

Area under paddy in West Bengal, the largest rice-producing state, was down by 9% on year on Friday while four weeks ago the deficit was 31%.

Paddy sowing has been hit mainly because of severe deficiency in monsoon rainfall against the benchmark in key states — Uttar Pradesh (-46%), Bihar (-36%) West Bengal (-18%) and Jharkhand (-27%) so far.

The paddy acreage has declined by 0.9 million hectare (mh) in Jharkhand, 0.39 mh in West Bengal, 0.24 mh in Uttar Pradeh and 0.21 mh in Bihar.

Also Read: Rice output to be 7-9% less on rain deficit: Govt 

Lower paddy sowing has raised concern about rice production for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) which would decline by 10 – 12 million tonne (mt) less than the previous years’ record level of 130 mt, food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey on Friday said.

Overall kharif crops – paddy, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and nutri-cereals etc have been sown in 108.4 mh as on Friday which is a marginal decline of 0.9 % against 109.4 mh reported a year ago. Officials said that the kharif sowing activities have been largely completed across the country.

Overall paddy sowing area across the country was reported at 39.3 mh which was 4.9% less than year ago. Average annual area under kharif paddy in 2016-17 – 2020-21 was 39.7 mh.

While oilseeds such as soyabean and groundnut have been sown in 18.9 mh, which is marginally less than last year. Pulses have been sown in 4.1% less area than last year.

India imports about 56% of its edible oil requirement while around 15% of domestic pulses consumption is met through imports.

The cotton sowing has been up by 7.3% so far while sugarcane planting has been marginally higher than last year.

“We can assess the impact of imbalance in rainfall pattern on kharif crops yield only by the end of the month,” an official told FE.

Agriculture ministry will release the first advance estimate of kharif crops for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) this month.

On Thursday, the government had imposed a 20% export duty on select rice varieties but kept major items like basmati out of its purview. It also banned broken rice exports.

According to the food ministry, the average wholesale rice prices have increased by more than 8% to Rs 33.25 a kg at present from a year ago period while average retails prices in the last one year have increased by more than 6% to Rs 37.5 a kg.

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