Unpredictable rain impacts potato and rice prices.

The unpredictable rains have disrupted the cultivation of rice and potatoes. It has caused an unexpected surge in the prices of potatoes and rice. The price increase is up to 12% of these staples in Indian kitchens. The surge in their price has been since the last month.

The Indian government has already banned exports of non-basmati rice. It has led to a hike in prices of up to 15%, while demand from South India has increased. However, patchy rains in Karnataka resulted in a decrease in kharif rice production. On the contrary, the unexpected rainfall in October has severely affected the sowing of the latest potato crop. It will further delay the arrival of the latest crop of potatoes. Also, the old stock of potatoes will see a major hike in its prices.

However, the southern states of the country are buying rice quickly from other states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, etc. It is expanding the price of these crops in other parts of the country. The Center has already stopped non-basmati rice exports since July 20, 2023. This step has been taken to ensure proper supply in the Indian market and to have some control over the prices. The prices of basmati rice have also hiked by 10% due to Middle East export demand.

Statement given by the CEO of RiceVilla 

Suraj Aggarwal is the CEO of RiceVilla, a leading rice marketing and exporting company. Suraj said, ‘Non-basmati rice prices have shot up because of rain scarcity in the southern regions of the country. It has led to a shortage in its supply overall in India.’

Further, he said the hiked prices are going to remain constant for the upcoming 3–4 months. It is because of the impact of El Nino until the next crop in 2024.

As per the first advance estimates done by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the rice production of the country has already pegged at 1,06.31 million metric tons. It is around a 3.7% dip as compared to 2022’s same season.

Also, the rice production area in 2023’s kharif season is 41.1 million hectares. It is comparatively higher as compared to 40.42 million hectares in 2022. The unseasonal rains during October have affected the potato crop. It has led to a hike in the price of around 5–10% of the old stock.

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