Government to launch study on non-Basmati rice market amid rising prices despite surplus stock | India News

NEW DELHI: Waking up to the trend of rice prices not moderating despite huge surplus stock with FCI and restrictions on exports in place, government will carry out a comprehensive study to map consumption and production of different non-basmati rice varieties which are not distributed under the free foodgrain scheme, PMGKAY.
Popular and high value non-basmati white rice varieties such as Sona Masuri and Ponni are not distributed by the Centre to the 81 crore poor under PMGKAY.
Data of govt’s price monitoring cell show that the average retail price of rice has increased from Rs 39.2 a kg on May 24, 2023 to Rs 43.7 on Jan 24 this year and on Friday it was selling at Rs 44.8 per kg. This is despite govt selling subsidised ‘Bharat’ brand rice at Rs 29 a kg for months now. Though FCI is also continuing weekly e-auction of its rice stock to bulk buyers, there has been lukewarm response, indicating there may be less takers.
Sources said the new research will focus on finding whether farmers are producing more common varieties of rice, which are procured by govt for food security scheme and farmers get the assured minimum support price (MSP). They added that there is a possibility of this common variety of rice being produced more. The study will also find any shift in consumption pattern of high-value non-basmati rice varieties and also their production.
The FCI’s current rice stock is around four times the buffer for July 1. It holds 502 lakh tonne of rice — 320 lakh tonnes of rice stock and 180 lakh tonnes receivable from millers. As per stocking norm, the FCI should have 135 lakh tonnes with it on July 1.

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