India’s rice production to dip this year:USDA

India’s rice production to dip this year:USDA

New Delhi,Oct 25:

India’s rice production in the current year is expected to slip below the last year’s record 106.54 million tonnes due to deficient rains, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The country’s overall rice output is estimated to be 100 million tonnes in the ongoing 2014-15 marketing year (October-
September), over 6%  lower than the last year, it said in its latest grain report.

“Continued deficient rains and ‘normal’ cyclones in eastern coast during October-November could further affect the
harvest of kharif rice and planting prospects for the upcoming rabi rice,” the USDA report said.

The USDA estimates 2014-15 rice production to include 87 million tonnes of kharif rice (versus 91.7 million tonnes last
year) and 13 million tonnes of rabi rice (versus 14.9 million tonnes last year), it said.

Rice is grown in two seasons — kharif (summer) and rabi (winter). Currently, kharif rice is ready for harvest and the
planting of rabi rice is underway in some places.

According to the USDA, the Indian government’s first advance estimate for the kharif rice production is 88 million
tonnes and recent floods in Assam and adjoining states, as well as drought like conditions in Uttar Pradesh, may further
pressure the official kharif production estimate.

While kharif rice planting improved due to good rains in late August and early September, overall productivity is
likely to be lower than last year due to delayed planting and prolonged moisture stress during critical stages after
transplanting, it said.

On rabi rice, the USDA said that deficient 2014 monsoon rains in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,
as well as the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal are also likely to affect planting and production
prospects of the rabi rice.

Stating that nearly 42%  of the rice crop in India is unirrigated, with the rest 58%  under irrigation, the USDA report said:

“Consequently, rice transplanting in most of the rice growing areas was delayed by 3-4 weeks as a result of the periodic and prolonged dry spells in 2014. This delay will negatively affect yield prospects in the current year from last year.”