The rice exporters in Punjab have blamed the policies of the government for the plight of farmers as about 30% dip recorded in the area under basmati. However according to the government reports the state authorities emphasized on enhancing the area under aromatic varieties of crop.
Government is working on crop diversification programme across the state. The area under basmati is to dip 30% in Punjab on account of low prices fetched by growers and problems faced in sowing of high-yielding 1509 variety last year.
Decline in the area of premium quality rice means that common varieties and grade-A varieties will decline in the state.
Rice exporters have blamed the policies of the government for the plight of growers and dip in area under basmati despite the state authorities emphasising on enhancing area under aromatic varieties of crop as part of crop diversification programme.
“We feel the area under basmati crop in Punjab will go down by 25-30% this season,” director of the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association Ashok Sethi said.
Punjab is expecting basmati area of about 5 lakh hectares in the current kharif season, which is about 35% lower than what the state saw acreage in last sowing season.
The area under basmati in Punjab stood at 7.63 lakh hectares and 8.62 lakh hectares in 2015-16 and 2014-15, an official of Punjab agriculture department said.