Delayed on set of monsoon and scant rains has dashed hopes of a normal paddy production in Bihar. Almost half of the districts in the state are yet to receive normal rainfall.
The plantation of paddy has been particularly affected by scanty rains this year. Due to weak monsoon, sowing of paddy is yet to begin in seven districts. Meanwhile, patchy rains have reduced the transplantation of paddy crops by more than 25 per cent.
According to state government’s data, there has been around 10 per cent rain deficiency till date in Bihar. “We are still hoping for revival of monsoon,” said of a senior official, “Till date, the state has received almost 280 mm rainfall, which is 10 per cent less than the normal numbers. However, we are more concerned about the patchy rains. Some parts of the state have received only 25-50 per cent of normal rainfall this time.The state government statistics shows that so far only 5-6 districts have received an above normal rainfall, while 19 districts are still in the red.
“The more worrying thing is the less rainfall in the paddy producing areas. Buxar, Arwal, Kaimur, Saran and Bhojpur districts are considered rice bowl of Bihar. However, these districts have received only 25-50 per cent rains in this season, which has made the matter worse,” said the official. Same is the case with Saharsa, Purnia, Araria and Sitamadhi districts, where only rain deficit amounts to 40-30 per cent.
Scant rain has affected agriculture activities, particularly paddy plantation, in the state. So far paddy transplantation is down by 25 per cent in the state against a normal year. The state’s data show that plantation work is yet to begin in seven districts.
State government’s officials indicate that if the monsoon fails to revive in couple of weeks, the state government would be forced to review its target for paddy production in current year. The state government had earlier set a target of 1 crore tonnes of paddy production in this Khariff season.
On the other hand, the state government is also mobilising its resources to counter this drought like situation. It has recently announced Rs 785 crore worth of diesel subsidy for farmers.
The state government is also advising farmers for using hybrid verities, which takes less time than normal verities of paddy. “We are keeping a close eye on the situation. Currently we are reviewing the situation on a weekly basis. It would be too soon to declare the state drought affected. We are ready to face any situation.”
Courtesy: Business Standard