Agri Business

West Bengal’s paddy output seen higher on optimum rains

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on August 21, 2020

West Bengal is expecting a higher kharif paddy production thanks to the favourable weather conditions.

Optimum rainfall during the sowing and transplantation period is likely to push up the yield of the crop this year.

According to Pradip Kumar Mazumder, Chief Advisor (Agriculture) to the Chief Minister, while there is no change in the acreage, if the weather conditions remain favourable, as now, then the yields will be higher.

West Bengal produces 15-16 million tonnes of paddy each year across the three seasons — aus, aman and boro. The kharif paddy (aus and aman) output accounts for about 70 per cent of the total production. Boro paddy is usually cultivated on land dependent on canal or irrigation facility.

“The sowing looks great; the rain has been better than optimum for paddy cultivation. In terms of the area under cultivation, we have already saturated so there might not be any increase, but if this kind of conditions prevail and the kind of crop stand we are seeing, we expect the yield to go up and we will have a better crop this year,” Mazumder told BusinessLine.

By official estimates, West Bengal has 5.8 million hectares under rice cultivation. This covers both irrigated and the rainfed areas, with an average productivity of 2.6 tonnes/ha.

According to Angshujyoti Das, Founder and CEO, Farmneed Agribusiness Ltd, the rainfall has been above average in most rice growing districts. This is likely to ensure a decent crop this year. However, the only challenge will be the supply of agri inputs, which has been impacted in some places in the wake of the pandemic. “Input mobilisation has started and if that picks up then there might not be any challenge on getting a good crop. The temperature and weather conditions are ideal for paddy growing this year,” he said.

Support for mechanisation

According to Mazumder, there has been a surge in demand for all kinds of mechanical support in agriculture and to facilitate this, the State government has invited applications for providing subsidy for mechanisation under various schemes.

“In the first three days of announcing the scheme, we had witnessed close to 40,000 applications. We expect this to go up. The government is ensuring adequate support for mechanisation as it will help ensure jobs. The idea is to train rural youths to operate machines, and maintain them,” he said.

Published on August 21, 2020

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