Lucknow, Jun 29: After Chinese toys, firecrackers,colours and decorative lights thronged Indian markets, now Chinese paddy has swarmed the farmlands of Uttar Pradesh.
The influx is so pronounced that it has raised alarms because the crop is found to be 'injurious to the soil and health' as it could damage soil. It can turn alluvial soil to barren within no time. If farmers will stick to this crop for the next few years, the state may lose a large chunk of land, said senior official of the state agriculture department.
State's Terai region from Pilibhit to Kheri, known as the rice bowl of the state, has seen emergence of Chinese paddy this year.
Almost all the big paddy farmers in Pilibhit have grown this variety of paddy, the quality of which is inferior to the Indian variety.
Much to the concern of the agriculture experts, Chinese paddy, that has more sulphur content, damages the soil cover of the field. '' This crop is not advisable for Indian soil. This paddy draws more water than Indian paddy and turns alluvial soil sulphur-rich, the official told UNI here.
Officials of the state agriculture department believe that after the Chinese crop, the growth and development of the following crops of Indian paddy can be hampered. ''Scientific studies suggest that Chinese paddy has proved detrimental to the the native crops of respective countries. Indonesia has banned such paddy and Japan is also planning to follow the suit,'' official disclosed.
As per health department doctors rich sulphur content in foodgrains could damage the physiological functions of the body.
''In some cases, it can be carcinogenic while in others can lead to stone formation in the body,'' doctors claimed.
According to an estimate, Chinese paddy has been planted in over 200 acres of land in Pilibhit and adjoining areas this year in April and the crop is now ready. Chinese paddy is a small plant as compared to that of Indian paddy and takes around a month-and-a-half to ripe.
Indian paddy usually takes around three months to mature.
Farmers have fallen for Chinese paddy because it matures early.
In Pilibhit, the farmers planted Chinese paddy immediately after the Rabi crop. Now as the new paddy is ready, the farmers will now proceed with Kharif crop.
''The farmers will get a crop of Chinese paddy in between the Rabi and Kharif crops. They may earn more but at the expense of the soil and health of consumers,''officials said.