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World is worried about India banning rice exports

  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2022
Context

2022 is emerging to be unique for Indian agriculture. Both the staple crops of rice and wheat appear to be suffering production losses.

About

Projects/estimates:

  • The World Bank’s food security update of August 2022 flagged how global concerns over the likelihood of a rice export ban by India are rising. 
  • As per NITI Aayog’s demand and supply projections, India’s projected consumption in 2022-23 will be about 108 to 109 MMTs of rice.
  • If we assume for the sake of understanding, zero opening and closing rice stocks, then it appears that last year, the country generated a surplus of about 22 MMTs (130.29 – 108.28).
  • This was approximately the amount of rice that was exported from the country 2021-22.  It is not same case for 2022-23.

India’s Rice production last year:

  • In 2021-22, India produced about 130.29 million metric tonnes (MMTs) of rice.
  • About 86 per cent of this (about 112 MMTs) was produced during the Kharif season (sown during June/July and harvested during November/December).
  • The remaining 14 per cent was produced in the winter months during the Rabi season.

Problems for India’s rice crop in 2022:

  • Area Coverage: The area coverage under paddy is lower than 2021. There are reports of the drying of transplanted paddy crop in fields primarily due to lack of irrigation. Reasons:
    • Deficit rains in key paddy growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
    • Dwarfing of rice plants caused by a Southern Rice Black Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) attack.
    • More remunerative price incentives for sister crops like soybean, and cotton.
  • Monsoon:
    • Kharif is the main cropping season in India and it pivots on monsoon rains.
    • About 48 per cent area depends directly on monsoon rains for irrigation.
    • As of August 2022, India’s monsoon showers are about 7 per cent above their long-period average value (LPA).
    • Despite a good monsoon figure at an all-India level, six states/Union Territories have received deficient rains.
    • These states include Uttar Pradesh (with a rain deficit of 44 per cent), Bihar (with a deficit of 39 per cent), Jharkhand (deficit of 26 per cent), Manipur (deficit of 44 per cent), Tripura (deficit of 28 per cent) and Delhi (deficit of 31 per cent).
  • Apart from rains, virus attacks in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana are reducing tillage in paddy crops.
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