After Nirmala Sitharaman’s ‘quality’ order, APEDA gets cracking on improving

  • After Nirmala Sitharaman’s ‘quality’ order, APEDA gets cracking on improving basmati rice

    APEDA is making all efforts to ensure production of export-compliant basmati rice in the country, according to a senior official from the body.

    By: | Updated: May 5, 2017 3:39 AM
    Agricultural, Processed Food Products, APEDA, basmati rice, AIREA, Nirmala Sitharaman, National Standards Conclave, Rajan SundaresanAPEDA is making all efforts to ensure production of export-compliant basmati rice in the country, according to a senior official from the body.
    Dibyajyoti Bhattacharjee The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is making all efforts to ensure production of export-compliant basmati rice in the country, according to a senior official from the body. It will be working closely with the governments of seven states that produce basmati rice and run awareness campaigns among the rice farmers for selective use of pesticides in cultivation, keeping in view the target market. APEDA will participate in 15 workshops in the basmati rice producing states along with agricultural universities, the All India Rice Exporters’ Association (AIREA) and the state agricultural departments over the next few months. This development comes at a time when commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while inaugurating the ‘National Standards Conclave’ in Delhi on May 1, has called on the industry to produce quality goods at affordable price to secure higher market access in the foreign countries. Welcoming the move by APEDA, Rajan Sundaresan, executive director of AIREA, said with the expected improvement in realisation rates of basmati rice in major overseas markets, India will be able to penetrate deeper into world rice markets in near future. Basmati rice, arguably the most premium variety of rice available in the world, has lucrative market in the EU, the US and the Middle East. But exports of basmati rice to some countries are hampered due to non-compliance of technical regulations concerning product standards. Actually, exports of basmati rice from India faced problems due to detection of pesticides residues exceeding prescribed Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs). India’s basmati rice exports to the world, which stood at $3.22 billion in 2016-17, declined more than 7.3% compared to the previous year. You might also want to see this:
    Speaking to the FE, the APEDA official said recently that the EU has brought down the MRL of tricyclazole (an ingredient used in pesticides) to limit of determination (LOD) i.e. 0.01 mg/kg. So, basmati rice grown in India will not qualify for exports to the EU after January 2018, unless it conforms to the new standards prescribed by the EU. Similarly, the US does not permit the presence of residues of pesticides like Isoprothiolane and Buprofezin beyond 0.01 mg/kg. He stressed that only those pesticides should be used by farmers which are recommended by the state agricultural universities for application to paddy crops. Additionally, correct dose of the recommended pesticides should be used and pre-harvest interval should be observed as mentioned on the label of the packing of the respective pesticides.
  • Wheat, rice basmati extend losses on muted demand

  • Prices of wheat and rice basmati drifted lower by up to Rs 300 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on tepid demand against sufficient stocks position. A few other bold grains also remained subdued on fall in demand from consuming industries. Traders said besides adequate stocks position in the market on increased supplies from producing regions, reduced offtake by flour mills, mainly kept pressure on wheat prices. They said sluggish demand from retailers weighed on rice basmati prices. In the national capital, wheat desi fell by Rs 50 to Rs 2,100-2,400, while wheat dara (for mills) shed Rs 5 at Rs 1,690-1,695 per quintal, respectively. In the rice section, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety settled lower at Rs 7,700-7,800 and Rs Rs 6,300-7,100 per quintal, respectively. Other bold grains like, bajra and maize also drifted lower by Rs 20 and Rs 50 to Rs 1,350-1,360 and Rs 1,450-1,460 per quintal respectively. Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal): Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,100-2,400, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,690-1,695, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,700-1,705, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 240, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 240, Roller flour mill Rs 940-950 (50 kg), Maida Rs 955-965 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,030-1,040 (50 kg). Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 7,700-7,800, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,000-7,100, Permal raw Rs 2,275-2,325, Permal wand Rs 2,400-2,450, Sela Rs 3,000-3,100 and Rice IR-8 Rs 2,000-2,025, Bajra Rs 1,350-1,360, Jowar yellow Rs 1600-1650, white Rs 3,300-3,500, Maize Rs 1,450-1,460, Barley Rs 1,550-1,570.
  • Higher prices may lift basmati exports to last year’s levels

    The recent uptrend in basmati prices on expectations that Iran would resume rice imports may help India sustain export earnings from the long-grain aromatic cereal for the current financial year at last year’s levels. Basmati shipments in the current financial year, so far, have been sluggish due to the curbs on rice imports imposed by Iran, a large buyer. “There is a pick-up in price and also volumes. We may be able to catch up with last year’s levels in value terms,” said AK Gupta, Director, Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), under the Agricultural & Processed Foods Export Development Authority (Apeda). Overall volumes were likely to be marginally lower than last year. “We may see a drop of about 1 lakh tonnes, 2-3 per cent lower than last year’s 40 lakh tonnes,” Gupta told BusinessLine. Basmati prices in the international market have risen by around $100 per tonne to $800 in the recent past. The price rise will help in reviving exports, he added. Though Iran has announced its intent to open up its market for the overseas rice, it is not clear as to when the country will start issuing permits. Iran has a temporary ban on rice imports mainly from end-July to early January next year in order to protect domestic paddy growers. Recently, a trade delegation led by the Apeda Chairman visited Iran to promote Indian rice exports. Rice exporters are also hopeful of a rebound. “We may be able to achieve more or less the same as last year,” said Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director of the All India Rice Exporters Association. After touching a record $4.88 billion or ₹29,299 crore in 2013-14, India’s basmati export earnings were on a downtrend over the past three years on a decline in prices and lower purchases by Iran, a large buyer. To supplement domestic production of about 2 million tonnes, Iran imports about 1 million tonnes of rice every year out of which about 7 lakh tonnes (lt) is exported from India. Purchases by Iran have been on a steady decline in the past three years. From an all-time high of 14.40 lt in 2013-14, exports to Iran dropped to 9.36 lt in 2014-15 and came down further to 6.95 lt in 2015-16. Shipments to the UAE have grown from 1.48 lt in 2013-14 to 2.79 lt in 2014-15, rising sharply to 6.12 lt in 2015-16. Exports to Iraq have also doubled to around 4.18 lt in 2015-16 from 2013-14.