Paddy acreages in the current fiscal have grown by 6.5 per cent and basmati acreages have increased by a whopping 36 per cent in comparison to kharif 2018 but the increased cultivation may turn out to be a challenge due to growth concerns at the global level and within India.
National Collateral Management Services conducted a field-based crop survey for assessment of acreage, crop health and production of basmati rice during kharif 2019. The survey was commissioned by the Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), founded by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
As per the latest kharif sowing report released by the Agriculture Ministry on September 27, all India paddy acreages are reported at 382 lakh hectares which are 1 per cent lower than 2018 paddy acreages of 387 lakh hectares.
This survey is at variance with the government report and paddy cultivation is higher as per the NCML survey with total paddy acreages during kharif 2019 estimated at 6,204,000 hectares which are 6.5 per cent higher than last year's acreage of 5,825,000 hectares.
The field survey was conducted in August 2019 and then in September in the selected 83 districts of the study area and this report covers the results of the survey for total paddy and basmati acreage.
The survey found that basmati acreages have increased by a whopping 36 percent in comparison to kharif 2018 in the select 83 districts of the study area. The highest percentage increase in basmati acreages is seen in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Haryana.
"Looking at the higher acreages of basmati paddy, economic growth concerns at the global as well as domestic level, Indian basmati rice industry is all set to face another challenging year," the survey noted. With the growing export demand for Indian basmati rice, farmers have timely reciprocated to the needs of the industry by increasing acreages under basmati paddy during the current kharif season, according to the survey.
The majority of the farmers during the survey have indicated that higher prices realised by them during the kharif 2018 as the prime reason for higher paddy acreages during the 2019 season.
The survey found that Haryana has the largest acreages under Basmati paddy contributing for 42 per cent of basmati acreages in the study area followed by Punjab (29 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (24 per cent).
Basmati paddy acreages have increased in Uttar Pradesh by 92.8 per cent, Haryana by 42.5 per cent, Himachal Pradesh by 24.1 per cent, Uttarakhand by 14.6 per cent and Punjab by 8.4 per cent while Basmati acreages are lower by 4 per cent in Jammu & Kashmir.
The total paddy acreages during 2019 are higher in Uttar Pradesh (20.8 per cent), Uttarakhand (18.4 per cent), Haryana (6.8 per cent) and Jammu & Kashmir (3.6 per cent) while total paddy acreages are lower in Himachal Pradesh (-3.53 per cent) and Punjab (-0.2 per cent).
Basmati rice is an important export commodity among food grains exported from India. India is one of the top exporters of rice, both basmati and non-basmati rice, and the annual Indian rice exports hover around 10-13 million tons.
During the year 2018-19 (April-March), India exported 11.9 million MT of rice, out of which basmati rice exports accounted for 4.4 million tons while non-basmati rice exports were 7.5 million tons.
The share of basmati rice in the total rice exports has been hovering in the range of 30 per cent to 40 per cent while non-basmati rice contributes to 60 to 70 per cent of rice exports. India exports basmati rice to almost 132 countries across the world every year.
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