Andhra Pradesh: Soaring price of superfine rice pinches pockets

By Vena Lenka

Price of superfine rice spiralled in the last two months due to gap in production and supply. The superfine rice price increased by up to 10 per kg after the Union government imposed a ban on export of rice to other countries.

Andhra Pradesh is termed as rice bowl of India. Krishna and Godavari delta is known for paddy cultivation in large scale. Despite extensive production of paddy, there is a shortage of superfine rice in state. Production of samba massori, swarna massori and other superfine rice varieties has decreased in Krishna and Godavari regions.

A majority of the farmers in state are selling their crop to the government through Raithu Bharosa Kendrams and the government is depositing money directly in their bank accounts. Government has fixed same MSP for both superfine variety and normal rice (boiled rice) and hence farmers prefer normal variety as they get up to 40 bags yield per acre which is around 12 % more than superfine variety.

Millers in Krishna, NTR and West Godavari districts said they are facing problems in procuring superfine rice from farmers despite paying excess amount. “Superfine aged rice has huge demand, but farmers are not showing interest in cultivating them. We are presently paying 2,750 per 70 kg bag of sona massori paddy cultivated in 2022. But still we are unable to procure the required quantity,” said M Nagarjuna Prasad, a rice miller from NTR district.

Meanwhile, consumers are unhappy over the skyrocketing price of rice. “We purchased 25 kg bag of sona massori rice for 1,350 in May 2023. Price of same increased to 1,500 in August. Government should take necessary steps to encourage farmers to cultivate the superfine rice,” said K Lakshmi Kumari, a homemaker.

This article has been republished from The Times of India

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