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State rice output may touch new high


GUWAHATI, July 3 � Assam, which has emerged as a rice-surplus State since 2010-11, is expecting a production of 54.40 lakh MT during the current (2014-15) season .

Last year (2013-14), the State produced 51.93 lakh MT rice, of which 6 lakh MT was marketable surplus. The previous year (2012-13), rice production stood at 47.16 lakh MT.

As per official data, rice productivity (kg/hectare) has also witnessed a noticeable increase in the past three years. Productivity, which stood at 1,876 kg per hectare in 2012-13, increased to 2,101 kg in 2013-14. The estimated productivity for 2014-15 is 2,140 kg.

Attributing the enhanced productivity to successful implementation of different schemes related to rice production, sources in the Agriculture Department told The Assam Tribune that technological interventions, expansion of area under summer rice, and assured irrigation facilities were the factors behind the increase in yield and productivity.

Significantly, the area under rice cultivation which was 26.46 lakh hectares in 2000-01, has decreased to 25.73 lakh hectares in 2014-15. In the two preceding years, i.e., in 2013-14 and 2012-13, the area under rice cultivation was 25.03 lakh hectares and 25.46 lakh hectares respectively.

Sources added that distribution of high-yielding and hybrid varieties too contributed significantly to the increase in production and productivity in a sustained manner in the past three years.

�The department hopes to turn Assam into one of the best rice-producing States in the country by increasing productivity through adoption of modern agricultural technologies,� sources said.

Similarly, in the field of pulse production, where also Assam had little to talk about, has improved considerably in the past few years. Compared to production of .68 lakh MT and productivity of 556 kg per hectare in 2000-01, the corresponding increase in 2013-14 was 1.04 lakh MT and 695 kg per hectare. The projected yield and productivity for the year 2014-15 is 1.25 lakh MT and 710 kg per hectare respectively.

�The efforts made by the Agriculture Department have clearly reflected the increased area under pulses by 26.05 per cent, production by 57.58 per cent and productivity by 24.55 per cent at the end of the year 2013-14 in comparison to base year 2009-10,� sources said.

Sources added that the increasing trend of production and productivity and expansion of area was effected by popularising different modern agricultural technologies related to pulse production with soil fertility and productivity.

The objective behind the thrust in pulse production is to bridge the gap between requirement and production in a sustainable manner and to make Assam a nutritionally-secure State, as pulses are a major source of protein. rhat Medical College Hospital.

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