Agriculture Current Affair 23 June 2022

Rice price rise a concern as food inflation speeds up in India

Concerns around elevated wheat prices made analysts apprehensive of the chances of consumers shifting to rice in a bid to opt for cheaper food options which could lead to an uptick in its prices.

The price of rice has remained stable for now, owing to ample inventory and robust production. But this could change if the customers switch to rice which could lead to a depletion in stockpiles and trigger restrictions on exports. Rice remains the primary staple for more than half the world’s population and about 90% of it is grown in Asia.

Farmers and the Indian government are banking on the monsoon to keep rice production, inventories and food inflation at a manageable level.

Kharif sowing picks up, next fortnight crucial

Sowing of kharif crops like soyabean, paddy, cotton has picked up in the country amid an advancing monsoon, and rainfall over the next fortnight will be crucial, agriculture experts said.

Some places such as Malwa in Madhya Pradesh and a few districts in Maharashtra are yet to get enough rainfall for sowing soyabean while there is a rush among farmers in Gujarat for sowing cotton in anticipation of good returns. In Haryana, intermittent pre-monsoon rains have helped farmers to sow paddy crop. Paddy farmers in Bengal, too, are sowing.

“As of today, monsoon has been decent for sowing soyabean crop, though in Malwa region there is lesser rainfall which is impacting sowing,” said D N Pathak, executive director of Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA). “But we have time till first week of July. If it rains in this fortnight, then sowing will pick up in the region too.”

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