Rice production to dip 3.7% due to uneven monsoon

By Harikishan Sharma

As per the first advance estimates of major kharif crops for 2023-24 released by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&W) Friday, India’s rice production has been pegged at 1,063.13 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), a 3.7 per cent dip than the figure of 1,105.12 LMT recorded during the same season of the last year.

The estimated production figure for 2023-24 is also lower than in 2021-2022, when it stood at 1,110.01 LMT.

The estimated decline in rice production for 2023-24 shows an impact of uneven distribution of monsoon rain. The decline is despite an increase in area under paddy production. As per the Agriculture Ministry, the area for rice production in the kharif season for 2023 is 411 lakh hectare, which is higher than 404.27 lakh hectare during the same season in 2022.

In a statement the Agriculture Ministry said, “The estimation of crop production relies on data provided by states and is subsequently validated using information from various alternative sources. These sources include reports from the Crop Weather Watch Group (CWWG), Remote Sensing estimates, estimates based on econometric modeling, inputs collected from farmer surveys, and historical trends in crop estimation.”

“It’s important to note that this first production assessment for 2023-24 (Kharif) is largely based on the average yield of the last 3 years and may undergo change after receiving the yield estimates based on actual crop cutting experiments,” the statement said.

“Area under rice which is the major kharif crop is estimated to be higher by around 2 lakh hectare over the previous year’s final estimate and by around 4.5 lakh hectare over the average rice area. Its production is also estimated to be higher by about 1 lakh tonnes as compared to average kharif rice production,” it added.

“For 2023-24, production of kharif nutri/coarse cereals is estimated at 351.37 LMT, which is slightly higher than the average coarse cereals production of 350.91 LMT. The production of Shree Anna is estimated at 126.55 LMT during 2023-24,” it said.

“The production of tur dal is estimated at 34.21 LMT, which is approximately similar to last year’s production. Further, the area for urad dal is estimated at 30.73 lakh hectares which is approximately similar to last year’s area of 30.98 lakh hectares. However, the total production of kharif pulses for 2023-24 is estimated to be lower than the previous year due to climatic conditions. Total production of kharif pulses during 2023-24 is estimated at 71.18 LMT. Total production of sugarcane is estimated at 4,347.93 LMT which is higher than average sugarcane production of 4,222.55 LMT,” the statement said.

India had banned the export of non-basmati white rice in July this year given the depleting public stock of foodgrain in the Central pool, elevated cereal prices and the looming threat of uneven monsoons for paddy crops in the ongoing kharif season. India had earlier banned wheat export with effect from May 13, 2022. A 20 per cent export duty was imposed on all non-basmati rice except parboiled rice on September 8, 2022 and banned the export of broken rice on September 9, 2022.

This article has been republished from The Indian Express

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