Despite floods, Haryana looking at achieving paddy targets

Chandigarh, Aug 9 (IANS) Despite the flash floods which submerged thousands of acres of agricultural land in a few districts last month, Haryana is looking at achieving its targets for paddy production this year.

‘The state is well on the road to achieving, if not exceeding, both the coverage and production tragets which have been pegged at 11.5 lakh hectares and 56.07 lakh tonnes in 2010-11. The ground level reality of more area having already been brought under paddy so far bodes well for the state,’ a state government spokesman said Monday.

Re-transplantation of paddy, especially the finer Basmati variety, in the flood affected areas has increased agriculture land under paddy cultivation by over 7,000 acres, he said.

‘The flood turned into a blessing in disguise. During re-transplantation, Basmati variety replaced coarse varieties of paddy as a substitute in the flood-hit districts. Haryana might produce more basmati rice this year, bringing farmers more money,’ he added.

‘There is no effect on the Basmati yield, if re-planted even at this stage.’

He said that up to July 29, paddy was sown in 10.57 lakh hectares as against 10.5 lakh hectares July last year. It showed that 7,000 more hectares had been brought under paddy crop so far, as compared to last year.

Aided by the state’s agriculture department, the farmers in the flood-affected districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Yamunanagar have successfully re-transplanted paddy in about 2.94 lakh hectares.

‘With operation paddy transplantation, including re-transplantation, slated to continue well past August 15, the government is confident of meeting the target of bringing 11.5 lakh hectares under the crop. The weather is favourable for proper growth of paddy,’ he said.

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