In the last one month, the price of Sona Masuri has dropped from Rs 54/kg to Rs 41-46/kg, while the price of another variety, Sona Steam has reduced from Rs 37-42/kilo to Rs 32-37/kilo. Following the reduced prices, rice traders say, many consumers, who were buying Sona Steam had switched to Sona Masuri.
With bountiful water, paddy cultivation has taken off well. In fact, compared to the last year, the area under cultivation has increased by one lakh hectares to reach 15.5 lakh hectares.
Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, president of Bangalore Wholesale Foodgrain and Pulses Association explained the reasons for the crash in prices. He said: As good harvest is expected this year, no one wants to hoard rice. Everyone is in a selling mood. And there is a drastic decline, more than 30%, in the demand from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. These states are procuring rice for lesser price from Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.”
There is no problem for paddy cultivation. As reservoirs are full, there is absolutely no problem for two crops, one now and another in summer,” said Dr V S Prakash, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre. In the state, the first rice crop is cultivated from June-July and harvested during December. The second crop is sown during January and harvested in April-May. The major paddy cultivation regions are Mysore, Mandya, Raichur, Shimoga, Davangere and Bellary.
Meanwhile, the sale of IR 64 (Dosa/Idli rice) has fallen by 20% due to the state government’s cheap rice (Re 1/kilo). The Anna Bhagya scheme, to provide the poor households with 30 kg of rice per month at Re 1 per kilo was launched on July 10. However, the price of the IR 64 hasn’t hovered, but remains at Rs 26/kilo. This variety of rice (IR 64) is harvested only once a year. It is of limited quantity. Hence, there is no fluctuation in the prices,” said Lahoti.