India Considers Ban On Rice Exports

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News in brief: India is considering a ban on rice exports, which could account for about 80% of its rice exports and potentially lead to a surge in global rice prices. The move is likely aimed at controlling inflation ahead of upcoming elections, but it has raised concerns about exacerbating food scarcity, already worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon on global farming.

India is considering placing a ban on rice exports, according to international reports, fanning fears of a global surge in its prices. The country has been the world’s top supplier of rice for a couple of years now.

If India implements the ban, it could include a total ban on all non-basmati varieties of the crop, translating to about 80% of all its rice exports. In turn, this would send global prices to new highs, critically compounding a food scarcity situation exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

India is likely considering this move in a bid to curb the risk of heightened inflation, particularly ahead of upcoming elections in that country. Local consumers are already facing challenging times with soaring food prices. Some consumers have had to go as far as crossing the border to obtain food items, especially tomatoes.

A global surge in prices is expected to hit hard, even though domestic prices would be controlled by the efforts.

India is responsible for about 40 per cent of global rice exports. Prices already spiked in June 2023, after the Indian government announced an increase in minimum support prices for farmers. In 2023 financial year, India’s estimated rice production volume was over 130 million metric tons.

The rest of the world continues to decry the country’s decision to ban wheat exports last year. The disruptive El Nino weather phenomenon’s impact on farming, is causing global concerns, which makes India’s move even more problematic. It has further added pressure to prices, which experts decry as “worrisome”.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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