Food price inflation rate in rural India has doubled in a year

Food price rise has been fuelling overall inflation in India in recent months  

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 12 April 2022
Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE__

Consumer food price has increased by 100 per cent between March 2021 and March 2022, according to the All India Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the National Statistical Office April 12, 2022.

The consumer food price inflation for rural areas was 3.94 per cent in March 2021. It went up to 8.04 per cent in March 2022. Similarly, the CPI for rural India has also gone up to 7.66 per cent in 2022, from 4.61 per cent in March 2021.

The rural food inflation in March has also registered a steep hike in comparison to February 2022. It has gone up to 8.04 per cent in March, from 5.81 per cent in February.

The Consumer Food Price Inflation for India as a whole (including rural and urban) has gone up to 7.68 per cent in March 2022, from 4.87 per cent in March 2021.

Overall, CPI representing retail inflation for the country rose to 6.95 per cent in March 2022, from 5.85 per cent in February. This could be the highest in 16 months, according to newswire agency, Reuters.

Price rise in oils and fats, vegetables and meat and fish have largely driven the hike. Year-on-year comparison shows that oils and fats prices spiked 18.79 per cent (March 2021 to March 2022). This is the highest price rise among the food basket items used to measure the consumer food price inflation.

Vegetables reported an increase of 11.64 per cent and meat and fish 9.63 per cent. Besides, fuel and light segment rose 7.52 per cent; clothing and footwear 9.40 per cent; housing 3.38 per cent; and the pan, tobacco and intoxicants climbed 2.98 per cent.

Food price rise has been fuelling overall inflation in India in recent months. In February 2022, overall inflation hit an eight-month high due to higher food prices. Consumer food prices rose 6.1 per cent in February 2022, in comparison to the same period in 2021.

“In early March (2022), when the Government of India released the official estimates on the state of inflation in the economy during February 2022, the uptick didn’t surprise many. Both the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and the CPI showed high and rising annual inflation rates of 13.11 per cent and 6.07 per cent respectively. The inflation at the food level was also high at 8.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively,” Shweta Saini, a senior consultant at ICRIER, wrote on the news website ThePrint.

Recently, David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said: “For every one percentage point increase in food prices, 10 million people are expected to fall into extreme poverty. The rich can suddenly afford expensive staples, but the poor cannot. Malnutrition is expected to grow and its effects will be the hardest to reverse in children.”

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