Several of India’s largest rice producing states have all witnessed a strong recovery in their rice production over the past year, helping the country retaining the title as one of the world’s top rice producers and exporters in 2018. The rice industry in India has long been one of the most important contributors to the country’s economic growth, foreign exchange earnings and employment rates over the decades. Those largest rice producing states in India are expected to continuously dominate the country’s rice industry, thanks to their large rice growing area and preferential soil and climate conditions.
Rice is the most important agricultural crop in India, contributing to more than 40% of the country’s total food grain production. According to the data from the Government of India, the total production of rice in India decreased by around 1%, or 1.1 million tonnes from the previous fiscal year to 104.32 million tonnes in 2015-16. However, in 2016-17, the total rice production in India is forecasted to jump to 108.86 million tonnes, which will set a new record. The estimated figure is higher than the previous record production of 106.65 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. It is also higher than the five-year rice production average of 105.42 million tonnes.
Among all the rice produced in India, basmati rice ranks India’s top export commodity. It is estimated that India produced approximately 4.25 million metric tons of basmati rice which accounts for nearly 75% of the total global production. Two-thirds of the basmati rice produced in India is exported. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the top Indian basmati rice importers along with the UK and the US.
Currently, most of India’s top rice suppliers and rice exporters are mainly based in regions such as West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. These largest rice producing states hold about 72% of the total rice-growing area in India and contribute more than 75% to the total rice production in the country.
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West Bengal is the largest rice producing state in India. The region has nearly half of its arable land under rice cultivation, which comes to about 5 million hectares of rice growing area. In the fiscal year of 2016, West Bengal produced over 15.7 million tonnes of rice, remaining as the highest rice producing state in India. Along with other largest rice producing states, these top 10 Indian states are expected to continue producing at world-leading rates over the near future.
Uttar Pradesh is another major rice producer in India and ranked as the second largest in the list of top 10 largest rice producing states in India. Rice is widely grown across the Uttar Pradesh region with a total growing area of more than 5.9 million hectares. The state also has a good rice yield of more than 2,300 kilograms per hectare. Uttar Pradesh contributes more than 13% in total rice production in the country.
With around 12 million tonnes of rice produced annually across its 2.8 million hectares of rice cultivating land, Punjab is the third largest rice producing state in India. Punjab is also the largest Basmati rice producing state in India, with over 2 million tonnes of Basmati rice production per year. Punjab is currently accounting for around 10% of India’s total rice production, and this share is projected to increase further as the rice cultivating land is still growing in Punjab.
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