NASA predicts bumper food production in Bihar

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Patna, May 7: Even as the possibility of severe food crisis in different parts of the world is looming large, Bihar is all set to experience a bumper crop this year.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the basis of its satellite imagery system has recently found that during this spring, rice and maize production in eastern ports of the country, particularly in Bihar, would touch a record level.

Recent images released by the NASA through the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture showed that vegetation conditions during the second half of March and early April this year were 'thriving' in eastern parts of Bihar and western parts of neighbouring West Bengal.

The existence of 'faint green spots' in these areas also indicated the possiblity of a bumper harvest of rice and maize in Bihar and parts of West Bengal, a media report quoting the NASA findings said here today.

A strip of green shades from the coastal areas of West Bengal to the greyish areas of Bihar have clearly indicated that the plants were 'lusher than average', it said.

It added that compared to images taken a few years back in the same area, the shades now were much brighter indicating the prospect of having a bumper Rabi crop in most parts of Bihar this year.

However, the 'Bihar Economic Survey of 2007-08', released by the state government earlier this year, on the contrary predicted a sharp fall in this year's foodgrain production in the state.

Holding bad monsoon as the prime reason for the steady fall in production level of rice and maize in the state, the survey pointed out that like last year, when the production of rice was reduced by nearly 24 per cent and that of maize by almost 19 per cent, this year too the production would be less notwithstanding early rain.

Describing the findings of the state government's survey as 'technically faulty', the experts have ruled out the possibility of any shortage of foodgrains in Bihar in near future.


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