Agri Business

Unseasonal rains threaten Bengal’s paddy harvest

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on October 19, 2021

No worries over kharif rice production, says State official

Harvesting of early variety paddy in West Bengal is likely to be affected by unseasonal rainfall. Paddy harvesting (common variety) in the State usually commences by end of October or early November. However, the harvesting of early variety starts post Durga Puja.

The India Meteorological Department had, on Sunday, predicted heavy rainfall in West Bengal and Odisha till October 20 due to a low-pressure area that has formed over north Telangana and strong south-easterly wind from the Bay of Bengal. It is to be noted that some of the southern districts of the State, including Howrah, Hooghly and East Medinipur, had recently experienced floods owing to downpour and overflowing rivers.

According to sources, paddy fields across several districts in the State have been submerged under water.

“The early variety of paddy typically starts arriving from the third week of October. However, this year there could be some delay due to the rains. The common variety, which is harvested usually from the first week of November, however, is not likely to be impacted,” Sushil Kumar Choudhury, President, Bengal Rice Mills Association, told BusinessLine.

No immediate concerns

Production of kharif paddy, which is the traditional crop of West Bengal, was expected to be higher this year backed by favourable weather conditions and adequate rains during the sowing period.

The State produces around 11 million tonnes of paddy during the kharif season, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the total production which is estimated to be close to 15-16 million tonnes a year and nearly 14 per cent of the country’s total production.

As per official estimates, West Bengal has 5.8 million hectares under rice cultivation. According to Pradip Kumar Mazumder, Chief Advisor (Agriculture) to the Chief Minister, it is still early to predict the impact of the rains on paddy production.

“So far we are not seeing much of an impact and as of now there is no threat to kharif paddy production. But if rain continues then we will have to see. There is no immediate concern as of now,” Mazumder said.

The unseasonal rain is also likely to impact Bengal’s premium variety of aromatic rice – Gobindobhog. The farmers are finding it difficult to harvest the crop as the fields are filled with water. So the crops are becoming extra big and quality is affected. The excess moisture is also making the crop susceptible to pest and insect attack, Suraj Agarwal, CEO, Tirupati Agri Trade said.

Published on October 19, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like