Ludhiana, November 22
Andhra Pradesh has pipped Punjab to become the country’s top paddy producer, as per the data gathered by the Union Ministry of Food for the year 2010-11. While Andhra Pradesh procured 96.02 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of paddy, Punjab’s count stood at 86.35 lakh MT. Except for the year 2008-09, Punjab had for long been dominating the paddy production tally in the country.
In all, 339.89 lakh MT of paddy was procured across the country in 2010-11 (the market year ends in September). Andhra Pradesh and Punjab were followed by Chhattisgarh (37.38 lakh MT), Orissa (24.72 lakh MT) and Uttar Pradesh (24.66 lakh MT). Haryana stood next with the procurement of 16.87 lakh MT, followed by Tamil Nadu (15.83 lakh MT), West Bengal (12.34 lakh MT), Bihar 8.83 (lakh MT) and Madhya Pradesh (4.8 lakh MT).
Dr MS Sidhu, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agriculture University, said Punjab remained at the number one position in terms of paddy production for the past several decades. “But, Punjab is still at the top in terms of wheat production,” he said.
Dr Pritam Singh Rangi, Consultant, Punjab State Farmer Commission, Mohali, said the main reason behind the loss in production was that a large number of Punjab farmers had of late taken to basmati production, the crop giving them good returns.
Secondly, the area under cultivation in Andhra Pradesh (43.9 lakh hectares) was much higher as compared to Punjab (27 lakh hectares).