Paddy suffers 50pc shortage
Sindh Abadgar Board general secretary Syed Mehmood Nawaz Shah said that in a normal situation, by this time paddy cultivation should have been completed by 90 percent but it has been completed around 40-50 percent only, as water shortage still remains in the paddy cultivating areas.
By July 7, he said Kotrai barrage was facing water shortage of 30 percent while it reached to around 80 percent in its command areas.Shah was optimistic that paddy would be sown on a larger area this year as compared to last year, as cotton growers were switching towards paddy after losing their crop for two years in rain and floods.
Kharif started in Sindh since 1st April but the province is still looking for irrigation water; even though more than 90 days have passed of the regular season. Sindh has a target of paddy cultivation at around 2.2 million of land.
Despite of water shortage in the province, banned districts for paddy are also involved in paddy growing. Sindh’s second largest cotton belt Ghotki is facing a problem again from paddy growers as there has been no action against the seed growing.
Ghotki is a banned area for paddy. Paddy cultivation is illegal on the left bank of Guddu and Sukkur barrages. “In order to cultivate paddy crop, growers have to seek permission from some departments including agriculture, irrigation and road transport,” one grower said.
Mian Mukhtiar Ahmed, a grower from Ghotki said they were fed up with substandard pesticides, which damaged the cotton crop therefore, they were growing paddy. “Cotton is also vulnerable to rain, thus growers are sowing paddy,” he said.