An increased demand from countries like Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia coupled with a shortage in paddy acreage in several states across the country has led to a hike in the prices of all varieties of rice by up to 30 per cent since the beginning June. This comes at a time when the Indian households are already reeling under high inflation.
While Odisha and Chhattisgarh saw lower sowing of the grain, the area covered under paddy, the primary crop during the kharif season, was 13.3 per cent less across the country till Saturday, July 29 from the same period last year. This was due to slow sowing by farmers in major producer states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal due to poor rains.
Not only did this increased concerns about a shortage in the production of rice but higher export demand added to the price hike further. “Bangladesh has started importing rice from India which has impacted the preferred varieties of rice in Indian households like sona masoori, whose prices have gone up by 20 per cent,” BV Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association, told Economic Times.