Basmati acreage may rise up to 20% on higher Iran demand

Farmers are expected to grow more Basmati rice this kharif season, with the acreage under cultivation likely to go up by up to 20 per cent, driven by higher remuneration, low carryover stock and increased demand from Iran. 

 

Going by the sale of seeds, many farmers are likely to shift from normal paddy to Basmati this year as the income has been better in the last season,” a Haryana agriculture department official said. 

 

Normal rice cultivation has started with planting of nurseries in the Northern states and will be followed by sowing of Basmati rice in the coming weeks. The area under Basmati is expected to grow by 20-25 per cent in Punjab this season as farmers’ income rose 15-20 per cent in the last season. 

 

The Basmati industry follows a cyclical trade trajectory and the previous year had been a good year, a rice trader said. “There will be little carryover stock due to better-than-usual international demand for Basmati. So, the market is expected to remain firm in the coming months,” said Vijay Sethia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association. 

 

Export of the premium variety — India has an 85 per cent share in the Basmati exports market — has grown by 10 per cent in 2018-19, primarily due to higher demand from Iran. 

 

The prevailing global rice trade is impervious to geopolitical tensions between the United States and Iran, although exporters are unsure of payments in the next season in case of a flare-up.