Basmati rice is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice that is traditionally grown in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. In 2019, India accounted for 65% of the total basmati rice trade as many countries source basmati rice from India. The states which are favorable for basmati rice production in India are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu Kashmir.
Changes In The Price Of Basmati Rice In Haryana
The premium variety of basmati rice in Haryana i.e. PB 30 is being sold for above ₹ 6,000 (per quintal), while the other two varieties which are Pusa 1121 and Pusa 1718, are also being sold for around ₹4,000 (per quintal).
The prices of the traditional varieties of basmati rice in Haryana have registered a hike for the first time in several years which can be seen from the prices reaching over ₹ 6,000 per quintal owing to the government agency HAFED foraying into the market and breaking the monopoly of private traders. As per farmers, the prices of long-grained premium basmati variety were around ₹ 3,800 to ₹ 4,000 in 2021, while it fetched ₹ 4,500 to ₹ 4,800 in 2020.
Reason For Price Hike
In general, premium aromatic rice was purchased by private traders but for the past two years, the Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED) has been purchasing paddy directly from farmers which have given private traders tough competition.
The commission agent, Mahinder Singh of Karnal’s Nilokheri grain market said “Since HAFED is directly involved in the purchase of basmati, this has given tough competition to the private traders, leading to an increase in the prices. Now, the prices have gone around ₹ 6,000 per quintal for the first time in the past several years,”.
Farmers also stated that a poor yield is also a major reason behind the increasing prices. A basmati grower, Rishi Pal of Karnal’s Sikri village said “The average yield has come down to around 10 quintals from 15 quintals. But the increase in the prices will help to compensate the farmers for the losses caused due to poor yield,”.
As Per Officials
HAFED officials who are associated with the procurement operations said that the agency was purchasing basmati rice as it has export orders from different countries to fulfill. The officials further stated that they would buy paddy until they achieved targets in different districts.
In a statement in October, Kailash Bhagat, HAFED chairman said that the government agency had earned a profit of around ₹ 207 crores during the financial year 2021-22. For the current fiscal year, it has received an export order of 20,000 MT of basmati rice valuing 21.85 million USD from Saudi Arabia.
The growers of the aromatic long-grain basmati rice earn around ₹ 10,000 per acre extra from the crop waste as they said that paddy straw is used as cattle fodder.
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