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Rice Crisis May Lurk Over Country

Jan 1, 2010
Rice crisis may lurk over country


The country may be staring at a rice crisis in the face this time round.
Though the wheat acreage has increased in the country, the paddy acreage has seen a decline, according to the data received from states.
Agricultural experts say less acreage of paddy will result in less production of rice.
Data received from states reveal that wheat has been sown in 286.84 lakh hectares(LH) till date, compared with last years 278.77 LH, recording an increase of 8.07 LH.
But on the other hand, the paddy acreage saw a dip. Data say paddy has been sown in 44.25 LH till date as against 47.55 LH last year, a decrease of 3.30 LH.
The Government, notably, had started National Agriculture Development Programme in 2007-08 with a view to capturing a four per cent annual increase in the production.
Not only this, the Government provided Rs 25,000 crore in the 11th five-year plan. In May 2007, in the 53rd meeting of the National Development Council had passed a motion for the Food Security Mission to produce one crore tonne of rice and 80 lakh tonne of wheat by the end of the 11th five-year plan.
The mission aim was to produce 200 lakh tonne of rice, but rice production has not crossed the mark of 44.25 lakh tonne till now.
The Agriculture Ministry, with a budget of around Rs 5,000 crore, started the mission, but despite earmarking 136 districts of 14 states for paddy production, nothing much has emerged out of it.
Meanwhile, the cereal acreage has increased. Cereals were sown in 6.01 LH till date, compared to 4.40 LH last year.
But at the other end, the acreages of sunflower and [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]mustard[/COLOR][/COLOR] saw a plunge this year.
Mustard was sown in 65.52 LH this year as against last years 68.88 LH, whereas sunflower was sown in 96.63 LH to date compared to 101.03 LH last year.

Rajneesh Madhok

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