Paddy (also called “rice” after the removal of husk by threshing) is a major staple food crop in India. India is the largest paddy producer accounting about 20% of the world production followed by China and also the fourth largest exporter of rice in the world. Paddy is cultivated at least twice a year in most parts of India, the two seasons being known as Rabi (cultivation is dependent on irrigation) and Kharif (depends on monsoon) respectively. There are many varieties of rice with coarse grain type, fine, super fine and basmati types with basmati fetching higher prices in the market.

Rice requires more number of irrigations, it is not advised in the water deficit areas. The clayey loam is well suited to the raising of this crop. There are number of improved varieties available with good grain quality and high yielding attributes. The seedlings are grown in nurseries and then transplanted in to main fields. The fields are initially puddled and then seedlings are transplanted. The crop also require higher doses of fertilizers compared to pulses and oilseeds.

Area of cultivation:
The regions cultivating this crop in India is distinguished as the western coastal strip, the eastern coastal strip, covering all the primary deltas, Assam plains and surrounding low hills, foothills and Terai region- along the Himalayas and states like West Bengal, Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, eastern Madhya Pradesh, northern Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. In the deltas of Kaveri River, Krishna River, Godavari River and Mahanadi River with assured canal irrigation farmers raise two, and in some pockets, even three crops a year.

Facts & figures:
Rice is grown widely across the nation in an area of over 400 Lakh Hectares in more than 20 states. Production increased from 53.6 million tons in FY 1980 to 108 million tons in year 2016-17. Yields increased from 1,336 kilograms per hectare in FY 1980 to 2,200 kilograms per hectare in FY 2017.

Major Export Destinations:
Main exporters of paddy are China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and USA and Main importers are European countries, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Africa.

The expected market price:
For common rice would be ruling in the range of Rs. 1,720 - 1,900 per quintal in harvesting season, 2017. The expected cost of production (Rs. 1,560 per quintal) would be below expected price as well as MSP (Rs. 1,470 and 1,510 per quintal) in all the states, so growing paddy in rabi season is reasonably profitable.

Factors influencing the price of Paddy are Weather, Climate, Rainfall, Government Policy (especially the export import policy), Import demands as well as domestic demand etc.