West Bengal's paddy farmers hope for good prices after bumper rice crop
Paddy farmers in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district are hoping that they will get a good price for their produce, after good rains this year helped them harvest a bumper crop.
The farmers, however, are wary of problems faced by them last year, where they were unable to profit by a good harvest because they did not get a good price.
"This year we have got a bumper paddy crop. Last year, we did not get a proper price, but this year we are hoping to get better money for our produce, as we are totally dependent upon agriculture," said Mohammad Rahidul, a paddy farmer.
The farmers had received a price of 350 rupees per 'mon' (a local unit of measurement, equal to 40 kilograms) last year, which they said was insufficient, barely enough to give them a profit in terms of the investment they made per 'bigha' (approximately one-third of an acre)
"This year we invested between 1000-1500 rupees per bigha, so at this moment if we get 500-550 rupees per mon (40 kilograms) then we can sustain ourselves," said Jiban Roy, another farmer.
India's annual basmati rice exports may rise as much as 15 percent in 2012/13, touching a record 3 million tonnes, after New Delhi, grappling with unmanageable rice stocks, scrapped a floor price for overseas sales in July.
India is the world's second biggest rice producer and top basmati seller.