New Delhi: The US Department of Agriculture has said that India’s rice production may drop by four million metric tonnes compared to last year, a dip of 2.94%.
While the yield for 2022-2023 was 136 million metric tonnes, USDA’s projected yield for 2023-2024 September is 132 million metric tonnes. August’s yield is 134 million metric tonnes.
The 2023-2024 yield includes kharif and rabi production, both, and also rice produced during the summer months, Business Standard has noted in its report on the forecast.
USDA forecast says India’s rice-harvested area is at 47.0 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month and down 1% from last year. Yield (on a rough basis) is expected to reach 4.21 tonnes per hectare, down 1% from last month and last year.
The 2023 southwest monsoon is poised to be the lowest in eight years. The report notes that for India, the rainfall deficit was at least 8% below the long-term average, as of September 1. Rainfall has been uneven for much of this monsoon, with August being one of the driest months on record.
“The two areas of concern include the Indo Gangetic Plain in the east, which consist of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, and the northwest states of Punjab and Haryana,” the report says.
The Indo Gangetic Plain, which comprises about 30% of total kharif rice, experienced below-normal rainfall as the crop entered the vegetative stage in August. However, in Punjab and Haryana, farmers experienced too much rainfall and had to replant in late July, the USDA says.