LAHORE: Punjab is likely to achieve 5.645 million tons of rice production this year (2021-22) as compared to 5.301 million tons achieved during the corresponding period 2020-21, showing an increase of 6.5 percent.

However, there is a slight dip of -0.2 percent in the average yield per acre during the current season, said the second survey of the rice crop conducted by the Crop Reporting Survey (CRS) of the provincial agriculture department.

Director Crop Reporting Survey (CRS) Punjab Dr Abdul Qayyum told Business Recorder on Tuesday that target of sowing rice crop had been set at an area of five million acres of land while it was sown over 6.314 million acres, showing 6.7 percent more area under sowing as compared to the last year. Last year the target area for sowing was 4.695 million acres while in actual it was sown over 5.917 million acres while production target was set at 4.2 million tons. The province achieved a production of 5.301 million tons.

Dr Qayyum attributed the increase in production to the favourable weather conditions and hoped that production figures may increase further when the third and final survey would be conducted by his organization by the end of current month after completion of harvesting.

Replying to a query, he said that 75 percent of the total rice sown in Punjab was Basmati and rest was non-basmati and others. He said hybrid rice was also being sown and they would be estimating about its acreage and production during the final survey.

Meanwhile, during a meeting Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) Punjab Rana Ali Arshad has once again appealed to the rice growers not to burn the rice stubbles while harvesting their paddy crop as it contributes to smog which is injurious to human health as well as for environment.

He said instead of burning, rice stubbles should be buried in the land which would improve the fertility of the land. He also asked the district administrations to take action against those violating ban on burning rice stubbles and remnants of other crops.