Basmati rice prices are set to soar because global production is not keeping pace with demand.

Sales of the premium grain are rocketing around the world - with consumption in the UK increasing 10% year-on-year, according to the Rice Association.

The total acreage of basmati planted fell by a quarter in 2006 because of unfavourable weather in the foothills of the Himalayas in India and Pakistan, the only part of the world where pure basmati can be grown. As a result many farmers were forced to grow hardier crops.

"Unfortunately a price increase on-shelf will be unavoidable," said Jon Calland of rice supplier Tilda.