India has Sufficient Rice Supply for the Domestic Consumer, 9.13 mn tonnes Surplus Projected in 2026 – Per Capita Demand to Fall by 8 kg per year

According to a working paper by Dr. Surabhi Mittal of ICRIER, a think tank in New Delhi  on ‘Demand - Supply Trends and Projection of Food India’  in the short and medium term, there might be surplus of rice in the country.

Rice Trends

The study says that, during the period of triennium ending (TE) 1980-81, rice production was 49.9 mt which increased to 89.2 mt by TE 2006-07 (Current production in 2010-11 -  95 mt). Production of rice increased at a rate of 2.4 per cent per annum during this period. Growth in rice production slowed down to 1.8 per cent per annum during the 1990s and has only been growing at the annual rate of 0.1 per cent in the last six years, while the annual growth rate was 3.7 per cent in the 1980s.

Future Estimates

The study estimates, considering GDP at 9% constant, the projected domestic demand of rice in India for the years 2011, 2016 and 2026 will be 94.4, 96.8 and 102.1 million metric tonnes respectively (Actual demand in 29011- 89 mt). While the annual per capita domestic demand for the rice will be 80.1 kg, 71.9 kg and 72.2 kg for the given projected years.

On the supply side, the study finds out that the projected availability of the food grain will be 95.7, 105.8 and 111.2 million metric tonnes for the years 2011, 2016 and 2026 respectively. This demand and supply trends indicate that there is a surplus of rice in India after meeting the domestic demand. The supply - demand gap finds a surplus of 1.26 million mt. in 2011, 8.98 million mt. in 2016 and 9.13 million mt. in 2026.

The figures clearly indicates that India has enough rice to feed its population, even in future. The need is to keep the pace with the production and to enhance the yield so as to meet the demand from other countries also. The imbalance between production and demand impacts the prices and profitability calls for policy intervention and planning to tackle the situation in future.

Note of Caution

The paper suggest that given population increase, the overall demand will rise, and hence productivity gains by investment and technology are necessary specially in wheat where demand is rising due to shift in consumption patterns also besides natural factors of population growth.