Due to growing demand from Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, as well as the shortage of rice fields in many regions, prices for all varieties of rice have increased by 30% since the beginning of June.
The higher cost of basic grain will hurt Indian households, which are already suffering from rising inflation.
As farmers in the main producing states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have slowed down planting due to poor rainfall. The area covered by rice, the main crop during the Kharif season, was 13.3 percent less across the country through July 29 compared to the same period last year. In Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the seeding rate also declined. While this raised concerns about a lack of grain production, increased export demand pushed up prices.
According to B.V. Krishna Rao, President of the Rice Exporters Association, “Bangladesh has started importing rice from India, which has affected Indian families’ favorite varieties of rice, such as Sona Masuri, whose prices have risen by 20 percent.”
In the six northern and eastern states listed earlier, 3.7 million hectares less rice had been planted as of July 29 than at the same time last year. Nearly ten percent of India’s 39.7 million hectares of Kharif rice is in short supply.
The smaller area produced about 10 million tons of produce with an average yield of 2.6 tons per hectare.
In fiscal year 2022, India produced 130 million tons of rice, including the winter crop, and exported 21 million tons of rice. In the current Kharif season, the country hopes to produce 112 million tons of rice.
Kolkata-based Tirupati Agri Trade CEO Suraj Agarwal said: “Prices of all varieties of rice have risen by 30%. The cost of Ratna rice varieties increased from 26 to 33 per kg. Due to strong demand from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the price of basmati rice has also risen by almost 30 percent, rising from Rs 62 per kg to Rs 80.”
First published: August 01, 2022 12:43 pm IST