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India may see up to 12 million tonnes slump in rice production, food secretary says

India’s food secretary today affirmed the declining rice output trend in the country that had pushed New Delhi to put restrictions on the export of the food grain even at the cost of likely stoking food inflation across several nations.

Rice production in the 2022-2023 crop year could fall by 7-8 million tonnes because of drought, or even 12 million tonnes in a worst-case scenario, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said. Four affected drought states have less area of approximately 25 lakh hectares, translating into about 7-8 million tonnes of less output. Total rice sowing is down by 38.06 lakh hectares and the loss of production may be about 10 million tonnes. In the worst case it can be 12 million tonnes this year due to a variety of factors, he said.

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India, the world’s biggest exporter of the grain, have recently imposed a 20% duty on exports of various grades of rice and also banned broken rice shipments with immediate effect, as it seeks to bolster supplies and reign in local prices after below-average monsoon rainfall hurt planting.

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Pandey said India had to restrict rice exports after shipments jumped sharply in the past few months and amid concerns over the new season crop because of below-average rainfall in four key producing states. Prices of broken rice has surged 38% so far in 2022, while exports during April-August rose to 2.13 million tonnes from 1.58 million tonnes a year earlier, he added. However, India is still surplus in rice production , Pandey said.

India’s total rice production during 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is estimated at a record 130.29 million tonnes as against 124.37 million tonnes in the previous year.

Out of total rice production in 2021-22, 111.76 million tonnes were in the Kharif season and 18.53 million tonnes in Rabi (winter-sown) season. The country exported 21.2 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which 3.94 million tonnes was basmati rice.

India’s total rice production during 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is estimated at a record 130.29 million tonnes as against 124.37 million tonnes in the previous year.

Out of total rice production in 2021-22, 111.76 million tonnes were in the Kharif season and 18.53 million tonnes in Rabi (winter-sown) season. The country exported 21.2 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which 3.94 million tonnes was basmati rice.

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