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APEDA Invites Bids For Crop Survey to Estimate Acreage & Expected Yield of Basmati Rice During 2022 & 2023

Due to the epidemic, the survey could not be completed in the last two years, however, APEDA has been estimating Basmati rice production estimates since 2003.

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture of Paddy Crop
Picture of Paddy Crop

The government's agro export development authority, APEDA, has asked for bids by February 18 for a crop survey to estimate acreage, analyze crop health, and forecast Basmati rice yields for the years 2022 and 2023.

However, it has kept out enterprises with merely yield estimating experience through crop cutting experiments, despite the fact that the government has enlisted multiple agritech companies, some without prior expertise, due to new sectors opening up for the private sector in the crop insurance segment.

Due to the epidemic, the survey could not be completed in the last two years, however, APEDA has been estimating Basmati rice production estimates since 2003. "A field-based survey will be conducted on the basis of a sample group of farmers selected at the district level in the Geographical Indications (GI) area of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir," according to a notice from APEDA.

Specific Model

It has requested that agencies submit specific models and methodology for the crop survey. It said that the 'Technical Bid' and the 'Financial Bid' must be filed separately.

A firm must have a minimum of five years of experience conducting crop surveys using satellite imagery and field-based surveys for a trade group or government entity in India, according to the bidding rules. "Crop cutting experiment experience will not be considered for this reason," it stated.

The acreage estimation of all basmati rice crop varieties, differentiated in traditional and evolved varieties of Basmati rice, including Sharbati and Sugandha types of non-Basmati rice, would be covered by satellite imageries and field-based survey. Reports will have to be submitted on a district-level basis for each State.

Concerns Raised

However, experts have questioned the legitimacy of non-notified varieties of Basmati since Sharbati and Suganda are thought to be primarily used for mixing in pure Basmati. "It could also be projected that non-notified varieties are in the process of notification," an expert said, adding, "why should adulterants be surveyed?" By providing a quantity of such non-basmati crops, the survey will unwittingly facilitate in depressing actual Basmati paddy prices or distort market sentiments, he said.

According to APEDA, the selected agency will also be responsible for variety-specific crop health monitoring and analysis, as well as advance yield prediction using climate-based yield modeling based on 10 years of historical yield and climate data.

Reports must be submitted by the end of each month in July, August, September, October, November, and December. In the event of unusual weather conditions or pests/diseases wreaking havoc on yields, a fortnightly report will be required, particularly during crop maturity.

Bidders who receive at least 70% (49 out of 70) in technical presentations will be shortlisted, and their financial bids will be opened. The financial bid will be worth a maximum of 30 points.

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