Patna, July 30 (IANS) Inadequate rains have hit paddy cultivation in Bihar as less than 50 percent transplantation of the target area had taken place till date this Kharif season, leaving the state administration worried.
"Paddy transplantation was severely hit across the state due to over 20 percent rainfall deficit. Only 45 percent of paddy transplantation had been completed in the state so far," an agriculture department official said Monday.
Sowing was severely hit in most districts except Araria, and East and West Champaran.
The agriculture department has earmarked 34.75 lakh hectares for paddy, 2.7 lakh hectares for maize and 1.5 lakh hectares for oilseeds.
"Till date paddy transplantation completed in 14.97 lakh hectares" said the official.
Last year, Bihar had recorded a bumper paddy crop of 114 lakh tonnes, thanks to a normal monsoon.
"Paddy transplantation by July 15 is good for bumper production but paddy transplantation by July 31 result in at least 10 percent less production and paddy transplantation after July is bound to hit production hard," said agriculture scientist S.S. Singh.
The state had produced just about 46 lakh tonnes of paddy in 2010 because of insufficient rains.
The state has received 357 mm of rainfall against the normal 440.9 mm from June-July 25. Last year, it recorded 437.7 mm rainfall in the same period.
An estimated 70 million people, two-thirds of Bihar's 105 million population, and nearly two-thirds of all agricultural activity are dependent on agriculture.
Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said in view of the deficit rainfall the government had released Rs.13 crore towards diesel subsidy to help farmers to irrigate kharif crops.
Ten days ago, the state cabinet had sanctioned Rs.200 crore as advance from Rs.619.75 crore from the contingency fund, as diesel subsidy.