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Irregular monsoon rains to hit paddy production in Konkan region

Irregular monsoon rains to hit paddy production in Konkan region

OCTOBER 9 2018


Irregular monsoon rains coupled with fungal diseases could have a major impact on paddy production in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Last year, the region had reported 12.5 lakh tonnes of production, which could dip by 15 to 20 per cent.


Paddy is cultivated in 32 out of 33 districts but Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are the major production areas of the State. After the initial onset of monsoon, there has been a long stretch of dry spell, which has affected the crop.


Agriculturist Vivek Bhide from Ratnagiri said that although Konkan region has reported over 106 per cent of average rainfall this year, volatility in rains has led to fungal attacks. Rice millers have reported lower volumes of paddy being bought for processing.


Bhide, who has been nominated to a number of State Government committees on agriculture and horticulture, said that keeping in mind of the Konkan region’s topography, terrace farming techniques are used extensively. It has been found that farms on the top of the terracehave received lesser rainfall.


A senior Maharashtra Government official that those farmers, who had planted rice just before the onset of monsoon rains, are harvesting their crops but with a dip of about 15 to 20 per cent in production.


Fungal diseases are also on the rise but fungicides are getting more and more expensive. Therefore, farmers are using it in diluted concentrations, to prevent higher input costs. In the past, such weather irregularities have also been observed in mango and cashew crops. If such weather phenomenon continues, then the farmers may have to consider shifting to some other crops, which could absorb such weather induced stress, the official said.



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