The central government has called a meeting to review status of rice procurement amid a drop in paddy cultivation due to bad monsoon. The meeting will be held with the representatives of rice producing states on August 30.
Areas under paddy cultivation fell by 15% amid deficient rain this year so far. Last year, the country saw a record production of rice at 129 metric tonnes.
Ahead of the crucial meeting, it is learnt that the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will also hold a discussion on the rising price of rice later in the day on Tuesday. The prices of rice have jumped 20-30% in the past two months, and it is expected that the government might take actions to regulate rice exports too in the meeting.
Earlier, as per the data of the agriculture ministry, the area covered under paddy stood at 274.30 lakh hectare (LH) as on August 5, as against 314.14 LH in the year-ago period.
Less paddy acreage is reported from West Bengal (12.28 LH), Jharkhand (9.34 LH), Bihar (4.85 LH), Chhattisgarh (4.39 LH), Uttar Pradesh (3.82 LH), Madhya Pradesh (3.72 LH), Odisha (3.56 LH) and Telangana (2.89 LH).
India is the world’s second largest producer and top exporter of rice. The country commands 40 per cent share in the global trade.
Rice output stood at record 129.66 million tonne in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June). India exported 21.2 million tonne of rice in 2021-22 fiscal year, of which 3.94 million tonne was basmati rice.
Total area under coverage is down at 908.61 LH so far this kharif season as against 936.65 LH in the corresponding period of the previous year, as per the same data.
Lower acreage of paddy has raised concern about rice output and prices in the kharif season, which accounts for about about 80 per cent of the total production.
On the back of bumper production and high procurement in the last few years, the Centre is sitting on a stock of 47 million tonne of rice (including rice equivalent of unmilled paddy) as on July 1 as against the buffer norm of 13.5 million tonne, said news agency PTI, adding that the Centre can use rice from its own godowns to intervene in the market, in case of price rise.