Punjab is expecting about 10 to 15 lakh tonnes lesser paddy procurement during ongoing kharif marketing season 2018-19 as compared to last year in view of lower yield caused by untimely rains.
"Paddy procurement is expected to be lesser this season as compared to last year. It may go down by more than 10 lakh tonnes," Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said Saturday.
Against the procurement of 178 lakh tonnes last year, Punjab is now expecting paddy purchase in the range of 165 to 170 lakh tonnes. Before the start of current procurement season, Punjab was targeting purchase of 200 lakh tonnes of crop.
"We feel the paddy purchase will be 10-15 lakh tonnes lesser this year in comparison to what was purchased last season," said Punjab Agriculture Director J S Bains.
Punjab has also lowered the paddy output estimates to 185 to 190 lakh tonnes as against paddy production of 200 lakh tonnes for 2018-19 season.
During the ongoing crop procurement, a total of 107 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured in grain markets so far, which is about 30 to 35 lakh tonnes lower than what was purchased in corresponding period of last year, officials said.
Untimely rain in the month of September was the main reason which adversely affected the paddy yield.
Paddy crop at several places suffered damage when rains hit the state in the month of September, said Bains adding, Reports from the fields suggest loss of about two quintals per acre in paddy yield. Meanwhile, unseasonal rains have not only dashed the hopes of bumper output it has also led to higher moisture content in the crop.
Against the norm of 17 per cent, the moisture content in paddy arrivals has been in the range of 21-22 per cent and at certain places even more than that, a senior official said.
As per norms, procurement agencies purchase paddy which has moisture content up to 17 per cent.
We have demanded relaxation in moisture content from the Centre so farmers should not face any problem in selling their crop, the official further said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)