Rice acreage down 13% till Aug 5 due to rain shortfall
Rice sowing in the current kharif season has dropped 13% till August 5 due to rainfall deficiency in main paddy-producing states, causing concern in a year when wheat output has fallen and the government's own procurement of the cereal has dropped drastically.
The area covered under paddy stood at 274.30 lakh hectare as on August 5, against 314.14 lakh hectare in the corresponding period last year, according to data released by the agriculture ministry on Monday.
Less paddy acreage is reported in the largest paddy-producing state, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana.
While western Uttar Pradesh has a deficiency of 36% in rainfall as on August 8, eastern UP has a deficiency of 43%. Bihar and Jharkhand have rainfall deficiency of 38% and 45% respectively. The Gangetic West Bengal has witnessed 46% less rainfall, according to data from India Meteorological Department (IMD).
India is the largest exporter of rice and commands a 40% share in the global market. A shortfall in rice production will affect worldwide trade, especially in a year when wheat production has dropped.
Rice output stood at a record 129.66 million tonne in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June). India exported 21.2 million tonne of rice in 2021-22 fiscal year. The Centre has a stock of 47 million tonne of rice as on July 1 as against the buffer norm of 13.5 million tonne.
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