A deficit monsoon threat looms large over the entire nation, but Bengal is confident of reaching very close to its agriculture production target for 2015.
“I can’t say what’ll happen if there’s a prolonged, and totally dry, spell from now on till October. But if there’s even scattered rainfall in this period, we’re confident of getting closer to our production target for the year,” state agriculture minister Purnendu Bose said.
Although the recent floods have resulted in heavy crop damage, excessive rainfall has been, overall, a positive factor, since the silt accumulation will come in handy in the kharif season, he says.
State agriculture department sources said the government reaching its targeted farm production in a particular year depended upon the kharif season output, especially of aus and aman paddy. “In 2015, we initially set a total kharif output target of 120 lakh tons of paddy, against a total production of 160 lakh tons, including the rabi crop, for the entire calendar year. The crop damage from the floods will, obviously, not let us meet the target, but we’ll surely achieve close to 90% of it,” a state agriculture department official said.
Nabanna sources said that, while the total loss from the floods had been pegged at Rs 30,000 crore, the loss in the farm sector alone was around Rs 1,800 crore. Of this, the financial loss in the kharif paddy segment alone is over Rs 1,400 crore. The remaining loss is on account of vegetables, pulses, jute and betel leaf.