The State has achieved a record rice production of 86 lakh tonnes during 2012-13 kharif season as against 76.55 lakh tonnes in 2007-08. As per the third round estimate of Agriculture department, the rice production of the State was revised from 94.29 lt to 93 lt. However, the Ministry of Agriculture reduced the estimate to 86 lt.
“Even a production of 86 lt of rice is a record for the State. The previous highest production was in 2007-08,” said Director of Agriculture and Food Production S Gopalan. He attributed the higher productivity to increased seed replacement rate (SRR), use of chemical fertilisers and organic manure and integrated pest, soil and water management.
The intensive drive by the department has yielded better results with more farmers getting encouraged to adopt location-specific high yielding varieties of paddy seeds having resistance to pest and abiotic stress, he added.
Besides, the system of rice intensification (SRI) methodology for cultivation is gaining popularity among the farmers as they get better production of rice than conventional methods of sowing and transplantation.
With a record rice production, the State Government has also surpassed the previous record in rice procurement. The State agencies have already procured 36.67 lakh tonnes of rice as against 29.4 lakh tonnes last year, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Secretary M S Padhi said.
Paddy procurement form the farmers have been stopped from July 30 despite the current kharif marketing season ending in September. Since insignificant quantity of paddy is coming to mandis, the Government decided to stop procurement, sources said.
Initially, the State Government had set a rice procurement target of 30 lakh tonnes for the current kharif marketing season. As more paddy came to mandis, the Government revised the procurement target twice from 30 lakh tonnes to 35 lakh tonnes and then 40 lt. The rabi production of paddy was more than anticipated, sources added.
The millers have already delivered 20.52 lt of rice to the Government. With constraint in storage space, the millers have been asked to slow down milling. The State has total storage capacity of 13 lt. The Government has requested the Food Corporation of India to lift more rice from the State to make space for further delivery of rice from the millers.
■ The higher productivity has been attributed to increased seed replacement rate, use of chemical fertilisers and organic manure and integrated pest, soil and water management