Persistent heatwaves and bad weather in India are having a devastating effect on rice production and the country faces a shortage as farmers struggle to get yields to what they were in previous years.
India is the world’s largest exporter of rice, but high energy prices and inflation are also playing a role in the shortage. The war in Ukraine has also stifled crop yields as fertilizer is becoming short.
“India accounts for 40% of the global rice trade, and a decline in production will complicate India’s domestic inflation fight,” one report explains. “It could result in export restrictions, leading to few supplies for the rest of the world.”
Combined, India now produces more rice than Thailand and Vietnam combined – producing close to 22 million tons per year – if growing conditions continue the way they are, far less rice will be available on the global market by this time next year.
The price of rice has climbed more than 10 percent, not good when a vast swath of the population in India are already living in poverty.
A director at Sponge Enterprises Pvt., Mukesh Jain said that prices of rice are expected to rise to at least $400 per ton by September.
Rice is part of the daily diet of over four billion people around the world, with some of the world’s poorest people relying heavily on rice as a main food source and the soaring prices are about to make life much harder.
An Indian farmer, Rajesh Kumar Singh in Uttar Pradesh, who owns seven acres of land, was unable to plant half of his land because rainfall in June and July were at record lows.
“The situation is really precarious,” said Singh.
Relief could be on the way, however, as monsoon season is about to start and crops will get much needed moisture, but the rising inflation within India could undo it all.
“Lower area of rice sowing amidst increased demand of imports from Bangladesh and other Middle Eastern countries have pushed up rice prices of different varieties to as much as 30% since June,” says Deutsche Bank economist Kaushik Das about the situation.
“This poses challenges for the food inflation outlook.”
Global food prices are far greater than they were in 2011 after the region was caught up in revolutions across the Middle East as a result of the Arab Spring. The country of Sir Lanka has fallen into bankruptcy over the world’s economic situation and the covid pandemic put the world on the back foot and it looks as though it may be very difficult to recover fully.
There are more than a few people who speculate that all of this misery has been done on purpose to bring about “The Great Reset” – where the richest of the world hold all the power over the poor.