Kharif paddy area up 2.3% on yr at 38 mln ha.

India’s paddy crop acreage this kharif season was at 38.19 mln ha , up 2.3% on year. Sowing, which was lagging till a fortnight ago, has now picked up, especially in key growing states of Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. Farmers have shifted to paddy from cotton in Punjab this season due to better realisation and sufficient ground water availability in cotton growing areas. Rice millers have promised paddy growers in Punjab to pay additional 300-400 rupees per 100 kg, if their produce is pesticide free.