Rice Shortage: Which Varieties Remain Available?

After mustard, potatoes or oil, it is now rice that risks disappearing from our supermarket shelves. Why ? What varieties will still be on sale? We answer you.

  Rice Shortage: Which Varieties Remain Available?

The rice may soon be added to the list of food shortages. After potatoes, oil and mustard, the fear of shortage by riz early 2023 is now very real. It should take place from February or March 2023. The Syndicat de la Rizerie Française (SRF) sounded the alarm a short time ago, in mid-October 2022. Basmati rice, which is one of the favorites of the French, is produced mainly on the border between India and Pakistan and that presently a problem. In effect, it is in these regions in particular that climate change has impacted production for the year.

Why is there likely to be a shortage of rice?

India and Pakistan, among the first rice producers in the world , experienced periods of high heat followed by episodes of intense rain. As a result, 250,000 tons of their production was wiped out. Their harvest alone represents 45% of rice sold in large and medium-sized French supermarkets . Problem: With declining production, India and Pakistan would rather supply their people than import their food. Global warming appears as the main reason for this shortage. The summer drought also affected Europe. The big producers that are Spain and Italy have seen their rice production drop . ' Water was lacking throughout the vegetative cycle of rice in all European countries. Yields are expected to decrease by 20-25% on EU production “, thus indicated Thierry Lievin, president of the Syndicate of the French rice mill to the newspaper L’Union.

And on our national territory, production is too low to meet consumer needs. 'Areas have been reduced by 25% over the past two years, explains François Clément. 'We have gone from 13,900 hectares in 2020 to 10,600 hectares this year'. If technical reasons explain the discouragement of certain French producers to turn towards the rice sector, it is not the only reason.” We also face one of consequences of global warming : the rise of the sea. In the years to come, it is possible that the level of salt will be too high on arable land. “A salinity problem will also be likely at groundwater level,” where the water is pumped “. However, for French productions, “we are not talking about a shortage at all”, not yet.
Anyway, with products from France or elsewhere, the price of a bag of rice has increased and is not about to fall. According to INSEE data, the price index for this cereal increased by 18% between August 2021 and August 2022. A price increase which is explained by the rise in the cost of energy and 'the increase in fuel and fertilizer prices,” adds the director of the French Rice Center.

Which varieties are less affected?

Rice from abroad will be the most affected by the shortage. This concerns in particular the risotto , parboiled (rice treated after harvest) and basmati . If you want to continue enjoying your rice, it is advisable to turn to PGI cereals from Camargue , ' French productions, rice produced locally, there is a multitude of them' explains François Clément. Among the French rice, the director gives as an example, ' Gageron round rice, long rice of the Arélate variety and Tamtam red rice '. But the varieties are multiple and quite often from organic farming, '25% of rice growing in France is organic', concludes François Clement. It now remains to be seen whether the supply will match the demand because the majority of the rice consumed on the territory, does not come from French producers .

If the French are not big consumers, they still eat it ' about 4.5 kilos per year per person ' , according to François Clément, director of the French Rice Center. 'Basmati rice is among those they enjoy the most' .

Source journaldesfemmes.fr