June 17, 2014
WB Govt hikes rice production target by 6 lakh tonnes
The West Bengal government has set a targetto produce 156 lakh tonnes of rice in the current fiscal, a jump of 6 lakhtonnes from the present annual average production.
The State Agriculture Minister Arup Roy, who presented the agriculture budgettoday, said the target was set keeping in mind the increasing demand for ricethat is projected to reach 170 lakh tonnes by 2016-17.
“We have taken several initiatives like giving financial assistance tosmall and marginal farmers, aid for electrification of pump sets, promotion offarm mechanization. We are sure all these will help us achieve the target,” the Minister said.
In 2011-12, the annual production was 146 lakh tonnes and the figure was 150lakh tonnes in 2012-13. It has been projected that rice production would bearound 149 lakh tonnes in 2013-14. Under the new initiatives by the stategovernment, farmers can enrol themselves by July 31 if they want to bring theircrops under the insurance. But over the past few years, the cultivation periodin Bengal has been deferred to the last week of August because of an irregularrainfall pattern.
The State Government has decided to write to the Centre to extend the cut-offdate as the farming season has been deferred to August-end. Crop insurance isextremely important as it encourages farmers to invest in agriculture, thestate Agriculture Minister said.