Hike in price of rice predicted

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Coimbatore, Jun 12 (UNI) The Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here has predicted that the price of rice may increase marginally in the State soon.

According to DEMIC, with the inflation rising to 8.24 per cent, it studied the price behavior of paddy and rice in Tamil Nadu to bring out price forecasts for the next four months.

The price of paddy is fixed on four major criteria -- moisture content (11-12 per cent), outturn of rice, percentage of broken rice and percentage of black grains.

The introduction of Rs two per kg rice scheme in Andhra Pradesh had a direct impact on the price of paddy and rice in Tamil Nadu as it restricted the inflow of paddy into Tamil Nadu from Andhra Pradesh with the Government procuring a major portion of the production.

Traders are of the opinion that price of rice will increase by Rs 100 for low, Rs 150 for medium and Rs 200 for fine quality of rice for a 75 kg bag in November-December.

Farmers are expecting an increase in the price of paddy in another three to four months to an extent of Rs 150 to Rs 200 per quintal in all the varieties.

The millers are expecting a price increase of Rs 50 to Rs 100 per bag of paddy because of the increased consumption and demand.

It is to be noted that rice prices are expected to be firm at the world level at least until the third quarter of 2008 inspite of higher production.

The price analysis done by Dr N Raveendran, Professor and Project Coordinator of DEMIC, and his team confirmed an increase in the price of paddy by Rs 100 to Rs 200 per quintal and price of rice by Rs 150 to Rs 300 per quintal up to September. However, a marginal decline in rice price is expected from October due to Kuruvai harvest.

To minimise the rise in prices of paddy and rice, the team suggested that godown facilities may be offered to wholesalers and millers in the godowns owned by Regulated Markets and Marketing Societies, including rural godowns.

As increase in cost of cultivation has also led to the rise, adoption of System of Rice Intensification method of cultivation will lead to reduction of cost of production. Direct procurement of rice from millers by organised retailers will also lead to reduction in rice price at the consumer level.

Farmers and Farmers' groups might be encouraged to convert paddy cultivated by them into rice and sell it directly to the consumer through farmers' shandies, which will reduce the rice price at the consumer level and increase the price realised by farmers.

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