First consignment of non-basmati rice exported from Paradip Port

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In a major boost to Indias rice exports potential, especially from the eastern region, a consignment was officially flagged off this week from the Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT), Odisha to Vietnam.

This was the first time in the history of Paradip Port that non-basmati rice was exported. Sarala Foods Group has shipped 20 containers of rice, to be followed by around 500 containers over the next three months from PICT to Vietnam, said an official release.

The rice exports through PICT would hugely boost Indias exports of non-basmati rice to South-East Asian countries while boosting income of at least two lakh farmers from Odisha and adjoining states, said Dr M. Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA, after inaugurating the flagging off ceremony.

During the April-February period of 2020-21, the shipment of non-basmati rice witnessed an impressive spike and was valued at Rs 30,277 crore ($4,086 million), as against Rs 13,030 crore ($1,835 million) in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. The growth was 132% in rupee terms and 122% in dollar terms.

Non-basmati rice exports to African and Asian countries are generally undertaken from the ports of Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Mundra and Krishnapatnam. Paradip will soon emerge as a major rice-exporting port of the country, the APEDA Chairman said.

The sharp spike in rice exports, especially when the global pandemic has disrupted the supply chains of many commodities, has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports while taking all the Covid-19 related safety precautions.

We took several measures in terms of ensuring safety and hygiene because of the operational and health challenges posed by Covid-19, while ensuring that rice exports continue uninterrupted, said Dr Angamuthu.

APEDA has promoted rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains. The government has set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of APEDA, which has representation from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Directors of Agriculture from the major rice producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the release added.