Rio Grande do Sul's rice harvest is enough to supply the Brazilian market, says Irga

The 2023/2024 cereal harvest is expected to be around 7.149.691 tons, even with the losses due to the floods that the state suffered in May

21.05.2024 | 16:27 (UTC -3)
Secretariat of Agriculture
Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

The 2023/2024 rice harvest in Rio Grande do Sul should be around 7.149.691 tons, even with the losses due to the floods that the state suffered in May. The number is very close to that recorded in the previous harvest, of 7.239.000 tons – which proves that Gaucho rice is sufficient to supply the Brazilian market, making it unnecessary to import the grain.

The data, calculated by the Rio Grandense Rice Institute (Irga), was presented at an extraordinary meeting of the Rice Sector Chamber, held remotely this Tuesday (21/5) by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Sustainable Production and Irrigation ( Seapi).

“When the floods occurred in Rio Grande do Sul, the rice crop was already 84% harvested, leaving 142 thousand hectares to be harvested. Of these, 22 thousand hectares were lost and 18 thousand were partially submerged. Among the grains stored in the silos, 43 thousand tons were compromised”, states the president of Irga, Rodrigo Machado.

Irga's total production estimate takes into account the production already harvested until the floods occurred (6.440.528 tons), added to a productivity calculation for the remaining 101.309 hectares of area not affected by the floods, taking into account an average of production of 7 thousand kilos per hectare. As a result, production estimated by Irga totals 7.149.691 tons of rice for the current harvest.

“Even considering the losses, we have a harvest practically identical to the previous one, which leads us to infer that there will be no shortage of rice”, argues Machado.

The Central Depression concentrated the greatest rice losses in the state. “Producers in the region had already lost their entire harvest during planting and had to replant. There, it will be necessary to do something more, a line of credit, insurance to serve these producers, because they lost not only the harvest, but their homes, machines and animals”, commented the president of Federarroz, Alexandre Velho.

Members of the production chain consider the federal government's move to remove the Common External Tariff (TEC) for the acquisition of imported rice, in force until the end of this year, to be worrying. “TEC will end up discouraging producers and we will have a further reduction in the cultivated area in the state. To sell rice for 4 reais, the producer will receive less than the production cost, he will not pay for himself”, highlighted Alexandre.

The coordinator of the Sectoral Chamber, Francisco Schardong, will participate in the meeting of the National Rice Sectoral Chamber this Wednesday (22/5) to talk about production in RS.

LS Tractor February