There was an average Rs.100 to Rs.250 increase per 25 kg.

With farmers possessing almost no paddy grown in the kharif 2013, middlemen and rice millers are having a field day in fixing prices of various varieties of rice in the market in Krishna district.

Given the monopolistic behaviour of all people involved in the rice business between the farmer and consumer, prices are skyrocketing since early March. There was an average Rs.100 to Rs.250 increase per 25-kg bag of any quality or variety of rice in wholesale market. “It was not the demand for rice from customers in wedding season to blame for soaring prices. The prices are expected to go up further in next few weeks as there was no paddy production in rabi season in Krishna district,” Machilipatnam Rice Merchants’ Association president Y. Sekhar told The Hindu .

The varieties largely preferred by all classes of people from all income groups are 1061, BPT (grown in Krishna district) and Samba which is largely imported from neighbouring Godavari districts. “One kg of fine quality Samba variety rice is Rs.48 now which was between Rs.35-38 in March in wholesale market.

Though rising of prices is a common phenomenon, the rate of increase is much higher this year” said K.V.N. Prasad, a wholesale dealer from Machilipatnam rice market. The fluctuation in rice prices normally witness during the post-rabi season, in which local variety M7 production would influence in price fixation.

However, there was no production of M7 in the recent Rabi in Krishna district due to ongoing canal modernisation works. According to wholesale dealers, the middlemen from other parts in Andhra Pradesh now eyed on Kharif paddy, which was stored by big farmers.