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Paddy, cotton sowing fall in Haryana due to deficient rain

Chandigarh: With kharif sowing getting complete amid weak monsoon, area under paddy, cotton and bajra in Haryana has shrunk considerably. However, paddy acreage has exceeded the targeted area in Punjab.

The major impact of shortfall in acreage will be witnessed in paddy crop in Haryana with agrarian state facing whopping 1.38 lakh hectares of dip in crop cultivation this season against the target of 12 lakh hectares.

With state agriculture department expecting adverse impact on basmati rice cultivation, the state managed to bring 10.62 lakh hectares because of poor rain against 12.35 lakh hectares last year. "There will be a fall in area under basmati paddy in the state (Haryana) due to poor rain," Haryana Agriculture Department, Additional Director B S Duggal told PTI here.

Haryana accounts for 40 per cent of country`s basmati production in the country with almost 7.5-8 lakh hectares under basmati varieties of crop.

State has also seen sharp fall in area under cultivation of cotton and bajra crops due to less rain. Against the target of 6 lakh hectares, acreage under cotton remained low at 5.25 lakh hectares, reporting shortfall of 75,000 hectares.

Cultivation of bajra has also gone down sharply to 2.71 lakh hectares against the target of 6.10 lakh hectares.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar during his visit to Chandigarh last week had found situation in Haryana as worst because of shortfall in area under kharif crops. "worst position in Haryana where rain deficient by 71 per cent.In Haryana late monsoon affected sowing..," he had said.

However, only guar crop turned out to be an exception which saw area jumping to 3.41 lakh hectares against the target of 3 lakh hectares on the back of high prices.

Haryana sought central package of Rs 4,050 crore from the Centre to tackle the drought-like situatio.

However, in Punjab the sowing of crops, except cotton, has been satisfactory despite deficient rain.

Acreage under paddy crop even exceeded the target of 27.80 lakh hectares by touching the mark of 28 lakh hectares, an official of Punjab Agriculture Department said here. "The targeted area under paddy has been achieved."

Punjab farmers have even shown some interest in guar crop in the wake of its high prices as 12,000-15,000 hectares under this crop came under cultivation against an average area size of 1,000-2,000 hectares.

However, cotton has seen dip in Punjab as well as total area remained 4.95 lakh hectares against the target of 5.20 lakh hectares. Punjab has seen 68 per cent deficient rain and sought a package of Rs 5,112 crore.

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