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Haryana farmers all smiles as long-grained basmati prices double this year

Reason to cheer: Long-grained varieties being sold at Rs 3,000 per quintal; farmers earning Rs 70,000 per acre.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2017 16:21 IST
Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Karnal
Haryana farmers,long-grained basmati,basmati prices
Many rice exporters are of the opinion that the prices have gone up due to tax exemption on paddy and rice after the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax. (HT photo)

Basmati growers in the state have a reason to smile as the prices of the premium paddy, especially the long-grained varieties, have doubled as compared to the last year.

With the paddy harvesting season already round the corner, long-grained Pusa 1509 is being sold at Rs 2,700-Rs 2,800 per quintal, whereas prices of Moochal, Sharbati and Pusa 1121 have reached Rs 3500 per quintal, registering an increase of Rs 1500 per quintal over the last year.

“I have six acres under the Moochal basmati and sold half of the produce at Rs 3450 per quintal. With Rs 100 price hike every day, farmers are earning Rs 65,000-Rs 70,000 per acre,” said Rajesh Kamboj, a farmer from Radaur in Yamunanagar district.

Raj Kumar, a farmer from Ladwa of the district, said, “We have Pusa 1509 variety and the prices are good this year. This will help us pay the debts as we did not see any hike in the prices of paddy since 2013.”

The traders and commission agents feel the prices may rise further due to a competition among the buyers and rice millers.

“As the prices of basmati varieties generally depend on the demand outside the country, it is for the first time since 2103 the prices have crossed the Rs 3,000 per quintal mark in the beginning of the procurement season. It may even rise further and the lateral variety of desi basmati (Taraori) may cross the Rs 4,000 per quintal mark,” said Sohan Lal of Shri Ram Trading Company in Kurukshetra.

The traders and commission agents feel the prices may rise further due to a competition among the buyers and rice millers.

Even as several high-yielding paddy varieties are sown in the region, the farmers says that Pusa 1509 is considered the best because it is the only basmati variety which takes 90 days to mature, a month less than the other long-grained varieties. In this case, the farmers get an extra month to sow other crops like mustard and winter vegetables.

What caused price rise

Some people claimed that the basmati prices have increased following a demand in the Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the European Union.

Rice exporters, however, are of the opinion that the prices have jumped after a tax exemption on paddy and rice following implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Talking to HT, former president and governing body member of all India Rice Exporters Association Vijay Setia said there is no additional demand this time and it is the 5 per cent tax exemption before the GST that caused the rise. New traders had invested in the rice industry when demonetisation took place and they will make profit in the next few months, he said.

“But the increase in prices is not stable and nobody can predict what will be price of the basmati next year. The overall acreage under Basmati has dipped by 10 per cent in Haryana,” he said.

Haryana’s share in basmati export

As per the All India Rice Exporters Association, Haryana and Punjab each have 40 per cent share in the total 40 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of basmati export from the country. Karnal, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Yamunanagar and Panipat districts make a significant contribution to the state’s 16 lakh MT basmati production.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 16:20 IST