T.N. hopes to meet its rice production target

Heavy rain during northeast monsoon damaged crops on thousands of hectares

With several spells of heavy rain during the northeast monsoon having damaged crops on thousands of hectares, policymakers are keeping their fingers crossed that the State will meet its rice production target of 75.5 lakh tonnes this time.

Though the paddy coverage during the ‘Samba’ cultivation season has exceeded the target by nearly 80,000 hectares, the crop planted on nearly 48,000 hectares was damaged, in varying degrees, during one phase of the monsoon alone.

However, officials hope there is scope for salvage in parts of the affected areas. Besides, in the third season of ‘Navarai’/’Kodai’, there exists the possibility of making up, to some extent, for the loss that the State may suffer.

As for the total extent of farmland affected after the monsoon started on October 25 last year, an estimate puts the figure for paddy at 97,500 hectares, including the areas covered in the latter part of the ‘Kuruvai’ season.

For 2021-22, the State has fixed an overall target of 125 lakh tonnes of grain, including 42 lakh tonnes of millets and 7.5 lakh tonnes of pulses.

For the three previous years (from 2018-19 to 2020-21), the State’s rice production ranged from 61.32 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 to 72.83 in 2020-21.

According to the Reserve Bank of India’s publication, Handbook of Statistics on Indian Economy for 2020-21, Tamil Nadu’s highest rice production since 2001-02 was 75.17 lakh tonnes during 2015-16.

The officials are of the view that given the government’s emphasis on millets and pulses, their production will help the State meet its overall grain target.

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