40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL

  • 40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL COLOMBO (News 1st); The Ministry of Trade said that another 40,000 MT of rice imported via the Indian Line of Credit will reach Sri Lanka on Monday (11). The secretary to the Ministry of Trades, Bhadrani Jayawardena stated that the stock will be sold through Sathosa outlets as soon as it is received. 1kg of Nadu and Kekulu rice is sold at Rs.110/- and 1kg of Samba is sold at Rs.130/- through Sathosa. Meanwhile, the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities said that all essential commodities required by the people during the New Year season have been distributed throughout the island. The spokesman of the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities, Nihal Seneviratne said that there could be a slight shortage of milk powder. He also said that the prices of essential commodities will be reduced in the future.
     
     
     
     
  • India’s agri exports cross $50 bn in Covid-hit year; rice is top forex earner

  • According to the DGCI&S data, the export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million. agricultural reforms, Essential Commodities Act, farmers, agriculture sector India’s agricultural exports increased by about 20% to cross $50 billion for the year 2021-22, despite logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of high freight rates, and container shortages, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has scripted history by exporting agricultural and processed food products to the tune of $25.6 billion, which is 51% of India’s total agriculture exports of $50 billion, the ministry said. It has also surpassed its own export target of $23.7 billion for the financial year 2021-22 by registering shipments of $25.6 billion. Major exporting destinations were Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, USA, Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, and Egypt. “The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by Centre through APEDA such as organising B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns with the active involvement of Indian Embassies,” the ministry said. As per the ministry statement, the government organised more than 300 outreach programmes in collaboration with state governments for enhancing the exports of agricultural produce. “We have also created a products matrix for 50 agricultural products which have good scope for expanding our exports portfolios,” said Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA. As per the provisional figures released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the agricultural exports have grown by 19.92% during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 billion. The growth rate is over and above the growth of 17.66% at $41.87 billion achieved in 2020-21. The cereal sector in APEDA exports contributes more than 52% share in 2021-22. Livestock products and other processed foods contribute 17 and 15% to APEDA export respectively in 2021-22.
    Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    According to the DGCI&S data, the export of rice was the top forex earner at $9,654 million during 2021-22, growing 9.35% from the previous year when it was $8,829 million. The export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million, while other cereals registered a growth of 53% by fetching $1,083 million in 2021-22 compared to the previous financial year when it was $705 million. Export of pulses reported a growth of 34% touching $358 million in 2021-22 from $265 million in 2020-21. Dairy products grew by 96% standing at $634 million in 2021-22 from $323 million in 2020-21, while buffalo meat registered a growth of just 4% as export of bovine meat increased from $3,171 million in 2020-21 to $3,303 million in 2021-22. Export of poultry products rose to $71 million in 2021-22 from $58 million in the previous year and sheep/goat meat export was up by 34% to $60 million in 2021-22 from $44 million in the previous year. Fruits and vegetables exports were up by 12% to touch $1,676 million in 2021-22 against $1,492 million in 2020-21, while processed fruits and vegetable exports were up by 7% to reach $1,202 million in 2021-22 against $1,120 million in the previous year. Exports of other processed food items grew by 34% during 2021-22 to touch $1,164 million against $866 million in 2020-21. The cashew exports also grew by 7% to $452 million in 2021-22 from $420 million in the previous year. Floriculture products reported a rise of 33% when they touched $103 million in 2021-22 from $77 million in 2020-21.
  • Nearly 25% increase in rice export bring relief to Haryana farmers, exporters

  • After heavy slump in export of rice in past about one and half years due to epidemic outbreak now farmers as well as rice exporters in Haryana state are having relief due to nearly 25% increase in rice export in past few weeks due to worldwide unrest as a result of war between Ukraine and Russia causing increase in demand of Indian rice. Information reveals, during year 2020-21nearly 16% drop in export of rice to various countries was witnessed. Farmers in Haryana grain markets are selling 1121 variety rice at the rate of Rs 4400 per quintal, Basmati rice at the rate Rs 4000 per quintal and 1509 variety rice at the rate ranging between Es 1600-1700 per quintal which is being sold at the rate ranging between Rs 3200-3300 per quintal at present. President of India Rice Exporters Association Vijay Setia told that Haryana state had export between 16 to 17 lakh ton rice of value worth Rs 16000 crore last year since there was nearly 16% drop in export due to unavoidable circumstances, whereas 25% growth in export has now been identified. Setia said in case Haryana state government had reduced market fee from 4% to 1% similar to being charged in Ghaziabad and Narela grain markets the export of rice would have increased to 20000 ton this year. Chairman of Haryana Rice Millers Association Jwail Singh told that demand of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 varieties rice has suddenly increased all over in the world due to present Ukraine-Russia war. Districts situated on G.T. Road belt which including Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and Sonipat districts in Haryana are famous for production of paddy crop in the state in which Kuruksetra and Karnal districts are producing maximum quantity of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 variety rice being exported to large number of countries across the world including Saudi Arab, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Muscat, Dubai, Africa and Australia. Singla told that Saudi Arab is biggest buyer of all types of rice from our country. He said, the prices of Basmati being sold earlier at the rate Rs 3300-3500 per quintal is now being sold at the rate Rs 4400 per quintal, whereas 1121 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 3500-3700 per quintal  presently being sold at the rate Rs 4100 per quintal. Similarly, 1509 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 2500-2700 per quintal is available at the rate Rs Rs 4200 per quintal at present. In view of fast declining water level in underground in Haryana state government is offering beneficial schemes in case of change of crop pattern from paddy requires huge quantity to alternate crops consuming less quantity of water offering incentive of Rs 7000 each acre area.  
  • Rice Market Update: Uncertainty Remains Key Factor

  • The true nature of long grain plantings continue to be debated in the U.S., with the USDA showing flat to last year, and the industry being confident of a 10-15% cut. Time will tell, but futures prices are showing a suspected cut in acreage, and paddy prices would support the same. Uncertainty of both the market and weather continue to hover over farmers. Meterorologists at Colorado State University are predicting an “above average” 2022 hurricane season that begins June 1. Nineteen storms are forecast for the Atlantic basin. Above-average sea surface temperatures and the lack of El Nino developing that would suppress hurricane activity by increasing vertical wind shear is the contributing factor.

    Prices for long grain milled are priced at or just above $650 pmt, whereas prices in South America are at least $100 pmt below that. South America is in the peak of their harvest season, with several questions swirling around the drought situation in Brazil. We know that Uruguay has crested the high point, and is on the downhill slope of the last 20% of their crop. Argentina is just ahead of them. Brazil and Paraguay are the big swings that will be coming to light in the next few weeks.

    In Asia, prices have held steady despite the inflationary rise that so many other commodities have seen. For more than a quarter now, prices in Thailand and Vietnam have oscillated around $400 pmt, while India and Pakistan have been around $360 pmt. This can in large part be attributed to India, who hasn’t slowed exports over the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been responsible for its third record crop in as many years.

    India’s farm subsidies, which many speculate have led to their record crop, has blunted the inflationary impacts of rice world-wide. With rice being the most basic food calorie for human consumption that prevents hunger for the poorest nations, this can be viewed as a positive in the global environment. However, India’s rice subsidy violations have put a burden on many rice producers around the globe; these violations were front-and-center this week with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    India has been called out by the U.S. rice industry and others to stop creating an unfair playing field with their rice subsidy program. It is making rice from the United States and other origins uncompetitive on a global scale, and can have severe detrimental impacts on food security world-wide in the future.

    Prices on the ground show Texas in the lead at $17/cwt. Louisiana is strong at $15.25/cwt, while prices in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri are fluctuation between $14.75-$15.75 based on variety and qualities.

    The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 8,300 MT this week, a marketing-year low, down 51% from the previous week and 81% from the prior 4-week average. Increases primarily for Mexico (13,700 MT), Haiti (7,300 MT), Jordan (4,000 MT), the Dominican Republic (2,000 MT), and Honduras (1,500 MT), were offset by reductions primarily for Colombia (22,000 MT).

    Exports of 80,300 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 98% from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Mexico (32,700 MT), Colombia (22,300 MT), Haiti (15,300 MT), El Salvador (4,100 MT), and Canada (2,000 MT).In the futures market, May 22 prices are down just over 1% this week to $16.010. May 23 contracts are about flat from last week, now at $16.615. Average Daily Volume registers at 411, down 23% from last week, while open interest is flat at 9,701.

  • Sri Lanka crisis: India begins shipment of rice to crisis-hit island nation

  • The rice is being offered under a credit line of $1 billion to Sri Lanka announced by India recently towards the purchase of food, medicine and other essential commodities. Of this credit line, $150 million is earmarked for rice supplies to Sri Lanka.

    India begins shipment of rice to crisis-hit Sri Lanka India has commenced shipment of around 40,000 tonne of rice to Sri Lanka to help ease shortage of essential food commodities in the country facing an acute fiscal challenge and economic turmoil. According to B V Krishna Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association, India will provide 0.3 million tonne (mt) of rice to Sri Lanka over the next six months. “All the rice shipments to Sri Lanka will be carried out through ports such as Kakinada, Tuticorin, Chennai and other posts in the southern region,” Rao told FE. The rice is being offered under a credit line of $1 billion to Sri Lanka announced by India recently towards the purchase of food, medicine and other essential commodities. Of this credit line, $150 million is earmarked for rice supplies to Sri Lanka. “As of now, supply of around 40,000 tonne of rice to Sri Lanka has been finalised under the credit line. The first consignment of rice under this framework is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka in the coming days,” according to a statement by the High Commission of India, Colombo. Trade sources said India can ship rice to Sri Lanka within days while for other countries it would at least take a few weeks to export rice. This rice shipment from India is expected to bring down the price of grain in the island nation ahead of Sinhalese New Year, which will be celebrated on April 14. India is also expected to supply other agricultural commodities such as sugar and wheat to Sri Lanka in the coming months. According to a senior official, this assistance in terms of rice shipment is seen as ‘humanitarian measure to help the Sri Lankan people during a difficult time’. Sri Lanka has become a net importer of rice as its production sharply fell after it banned all chemical fertilisers in May 2021 for making the island nation’s agriculture sector to 100% organic cultivation. Following reports of a drop in production of various agricultural commodities because of the banning of fertiliser use, the Sri Lankan government partially lifted a ban on imports of fertiliser and allowed the private sector to import it. India has been the world’s largest rice exporter in the last decade — export earnings stood at a record $8.7 billion in 2020-21 and crossed $9.6 billion in 2021-22. India exported agricultural commodities such as onion, wheat, pulses, basmati rice and processed fruit products worth of $150 million to Sri Lanka in 2020-21.
  • Rice exporters face twin challenges after record 17-mt shipment

  • The number of vessels docked at Kakinada port, a major rice loading point on the eastern coast, fell to three from 10 last year (file image)

    Higher freight, return of Thailand to international market weigh on supplies from India

    Exporters of Indian non-basmati rice, after shipping close to 17 million tonnes in 2021-22, are facing the twin challenges of higher freight cost and the return of Thailand, a major supplier, to the international market in the current financial year. This may lead to a decline of 10-15 per cent in shipments, exporters said. As per the latest official data available till end-February for the financial year 2021-22, non-basmati shipments grew by around 40 per cent to 15.61 million tonnes, from 11.17 million tonnes a year ago. In dollar terms, non-basmati rice shipments were up 35.2 per cent at $5.551 billion in April-February 2021-22 against $4.105 billion a year ago. “We will be touching close to 17 million tonnes for fiscal 2021-22, a new record over the previous year’s 13 million tonnes,” said BV Krishna Rao, President, The Rice Exporters Association. The export data for March comes with a lag. The target for the year was 16 million tonnesr. On the outlook for the new financial year, Rao said high freight costs remain a concern and supplies from Thailand have resumed, posing a challenge to Indian exporters.

    Govt needs to help

    “Last year, Thailand did not have a good crop due to bad weather. But this year, they have made a comeback and are giving a good fight,” Rao said, adding that Indian shipments will be lower this year by 10-15 per cent. “We are unlikely to maintain 17 million tonnes unless the Government helps other countries buy more rice, like it did for Sri Lanka,” Rao added. Freight rates have moved up from last year as fuel costs have surged, triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Rao said the higher vessel rates have forced buyers, mainly in Africa, to adopt a wait-and-watch approach. Freight rates have gone up from around $90 per tonne to around $140, while rice prices are largely stable. “The buyer is not keen on paying the extra $50 and would wait for vessel prices to come down,” Rao said. This is reflected in the decline in the number of vessels docked at the Kakinada port, one of the major rice loading points on the eastern coast. “Usually, at least 10 vessels in Kakinada were being loaded last year around this time. Now there are only three.” Trade sources said Indian rice shipments are already slowing, going by the numbers in February, when non-basmati shipments fell 1.4 per cent to 1.618 million tonnes (1.641 million tonnes a year ago). Free-on-board (FOB) parboiled rice from Indian ports is quoted at $365 per tonne ($370-380) . White rice prices are hovering at $335-340 per tonne, at around last year’s levels. Broken rice prices have moved up from $270 per tonne FOB to $315-320. “Only broken rice prices have moved up as it is witnessing good demand due to high corn prices,” Rao said. The demand for brokens, which is used for feed ingredients, is from China, Indonesia and Africa among other regions.
  • Food grains heading to rice mills in the midst of uncertainty

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    In the face of uncertainty over procurement of paddy cultivated in the ongoing rabi by the government, farmers have already started moving the harvested crop to private rice mills and selling it well below the minimum support price of ₹1,960 a quintal for fine variety that was more easily marketable. The movement of stocks was only in the case of early crop, which was sown immediately after the season began, while the harvest of late sowings will take another week, sources said.  They added that the millers came forward to purchase the fine variety at over ₹2,000 a quintal initially but the rates dropped to less than ₹1,900 in the last couple of days. At some places, it was even ₹1,750 a quintal.
     

    Drop in prices

    The drop in prices was attributed to stepped up arrivals at mills which resulted in farmers waiting for their turn for two or three days to dispose of the stocks. The initial arrival of crops that were harvested a fortnight ago which were in smaller quantities fetched good prices for farmers. On the other hand, the Food Corporation of India has refused to accept custom milled rice of 2020-21 rabi season after March 31 though the State government wanted the deadline to be extended by two months.
     

    Union Minister of State for Tourism G. Kishan Reddy said that the State government was yet to meet its target of 2020-21 rabi despite several reminders. The Centre will keep its commitment to the State for 2020-21 rabi but not the corresponding season which has triggered the stand-off with the State.

  • India invokes peace clause for 3rd time as rice subsidies exceed cap

  • India has for the third time invoked the peace clause for exceeding the 10% ceiling on support it offered its rice farmers. The country informed the WTO that the value of its rice production in 2020-21 was $45.56 billion while it gave subsidies worth $6.9 billion, which comes out to 15.14% as against the permitted 10%. The peace clause protects India's food procurement programmes against action from WTO members in case the subsidy ceilings are breached. New Delhi had first invoked the clause in 2020 when it became the first country to do so. New Delhi told the WTO on Friday the stocks under the programme are acquired and released to meet the domestic food security needs of India's poor and vulnerable population, and not to impede commercial trade or food security of others.
  • Cuba & Chile to buy Basmati Rice from Haryana

  • Latin American countries Cuba and Chile have expressed interest to purchase Basmati rice from Haryana. For this, a delegation of Cuba will visit Haryana next month. While giving this information on Saturday, a spokesperson of the Foreign Cooperation Department said the chairman of HAFED  Kailash Bhagat, managing director A Sreenivas and adviser to the department of foreign cooperation Pawan Choudhary held a meeting with Ambassador of Cuba to India, Alejandro Simancas Marin and Ambassador of Chile, Juan Angulo to discuss mutual cooperation with Haryana in various fields. During the meeting, Cuba and Chile have expressed interest to procure Basmati rice from Haryana. In addition, opportunities for cooperation in information technology, pharma and aviation will also be explored by Cuba. Therefore, a delegation from Cuba will visit Haryana next month. The export graph of the state will increase with the purchase of Basmati rice from Haryana by Cuba and Chile and the trade and bilateral relations of Haryana with these countries will also get strengthened, the spokesperson said. He said  the Ambassadors of Cuba and Chile also appreciated the thinking and vision of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal and said the initiative taken by the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for Heart to Heart Connect relationship is unique and commendable in itself. The Ambassador of Chile,  Juan Angulo said,”We are already working closely with the Government of India and we are glad that Haryana has contacted us. Certainly Cuba will take forward its relations with Haryana,”. The spokesperson said that the Haryana Government is continuously making consistent efforts to promote bilateral relations with other countries. In this episode, Haryana-Africa Conclave Series-1 was organized with African countries and a meeting was also held with the delegation of Latin America and Caribbean countries on March 27, 2022 at Surajkund, Faridabad, in which delegations from 11 countries had participated.
  • Asia rice: India rates unchanged, Vietnam prices fall on rising supplies

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice in India were unchanged this week amid prospects of increased supplies and an appreciation in the rupee, while an increase in stocks weighed on rates in Vietnam. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $367 to $370 per tonne this week, unchanged from the last week. “Since the government has extended subsidised food grain distribution by six months, local supplies will rise and prices will remain under pressure,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $400-$415 per tonne on Thursday, down from $415-$420 per tonne a week ago. “Domestic supplies are rising thanks to output from the winter-spring harvest,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding that quality has been affected due to prolonged rain during the harvest time. Preliminary shipping data showed 72,000 tonnes of rice were scheduled to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during the first week of April, with most of the grains were heading to the Philippines and Africa. Vietnam’s rice exports in the first quarter are estimated to have increased 24% from a year earlier to 1.475 million tonnes, raising revenue by 10.5% to $715 million. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices narrowed to $408-$410 per tonne this week, from $408-$412 quoted a week ago. Overseas demand for Thai rice has been muted due to insufficient ships and high freight rates, traders said. Prices, however, remained high on domestic demand for broken rice used for animal feed due to logistic problems with imports, a Bangkok-based rice trader said. The supply situation remains unchanged with the new harvest entering the market this week, traders said. In Bangladesh, domestic prices of rice rose for the week, despite good crop and reserves, as inflation in February hit the highest since October 2020.
  • FCI won’t procure parboiled rice, States can do so: Centre

  • The Centre, however, clarified that the States could procure parboiled rice for consumption within the State. Image for representational purpose only. (File Photo) HYDERABAD: Dashing all hopes of the State government, the Centre has once again made it clear that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would not procure parboiled rice from any State, including Telangana. The Centre, however, clarified that the States could procure parboiled rice for consumption within the State. In a written reply to BJP MP Dushyant Singh on procuring surplus parboiled rice during Question Hour in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said that after meeting State’s requirement for Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), only the excess/surplus stocks procured by the State government/its agencies were handed over to the FCI in central pool in the form of raw or parboiled rice to meet the overall consumption requirement of the country as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Central government and Decentralised Procurement (DCP) States. “Due to burgeoning stock level of parboiled rice in the central pool, the States were informed that FCI will not be in a position to accept parboiled rice during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22. However, a State can procure parboiled rice for consumption within that State. In the last few years, procurement of parboiled rice in the deficit parboiled consuming States like Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has increased resulting in lesser movement of parboiled rice from surplus to deficit States,” the Minister said. Ethanol policy In its action plan for Rabi Marketing Season 2022-23, the FCI suggested the State govt to adopt a good ethanol policy as broken rice is suitable for the production of ethanol. The FCI also asked the State to enhance its storage capacities like Punjab and Haryana. 
  • Despite rising recognition, Pokkali farmers seek help

  • Pokkali rice from central Kerala, a grain variety that has a geographical indication (GI) tag in 2007, has now become a part of India’s postal stamps.
    Express News Service
    KOCHI: Pokkali rice from central Kerala, a grain variety that has a geographical indication (GI) tag in 2007, has now become a part of India’s postal stamps. In an event organised by Kadamakudy Nellulpathaka Padasekhara Samithi in Kochi, the stamp was released to the public in the presence of Vypeen MLA K N Unnikrishnan, District Collector Jafar Malik and Post Master General of Central Kochi Mariamma Thomas.  The move will help popularise pokkali, a unique rice variety that can grow in saline waters, said K A Thomas, secretary of Kadamakudy Nellulpathaka Padasekhara Samithi. He said the organisation will submit a memorandum to the MLA and the collector detailing the struggles and demands of paddy farmers.  “Pokkali rice is grown without any fertilisers or pesticides — be it organic or chemical. That is what makes pokkali rice unique and highly nutritious. But now, pokkali farmers are struggling to stay afloat. Moreover, the number of paddy fields and farmers producing pokkali has also come down drastically,” said Thomas. The base price set by Supplyco for the rice is Rs 28 per kg. “It is to be noted that many organic varieties are sold at over Rs 100 per kilo. It’s difficult for the farmers to survive when our crops are so underpriced,” Thomas said.   The reduction in the price of prawn varieties, which are farmed in waterlogged pokkali fields after harvest, has made things worse for these farmers. “In 1995, we used to earn nearly Rs 300 per one kilo white shrimps. Now, we get only around Rs 200 even for the highest quality prawns. Pokkali farmers used to depend on prawn farming to survive. But right now, neither of them is fetching us enough money. If we spend around Rs 45,000 for farming pokkali, we earn only around Rs 25,000,” he said. To survive, the organisation has demanded the government revise the base price to Rs 120 per kg. Demands Increase the base price of pokkali rice to I120 Help farmers with basic cultivation needs Help to remove silt from farms Adding pokkali to super-speciality rice category  A governemnt master plan to help the prawn and pokkali farmers
  • Rice worth Rs 3,300 crore yet to be lifted from Telangana by FCI

  • HYDERABAD: The procurement status of 70 lakh metric tonnes of paddy ready for the current yasangi (rabi) season is in limbo due to a dispute between the state and central governments. But, that is not all. As a result of unsolved issues between the state and the Centre, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) still has to lift Rs 3,300 crore worth rice from Telangana. Eleven lakh metric tonnes of custom milled rice (CMR) is yet to be lifted from the purchase season of April and September 2021. According to sources, the cost of this 11 lakh metric tonnes of paddy is Rs 3,300 crore at the rate of Rs 30 per kg. rice, Interestingly, rice mills have exceeded their capacity in milling 50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the same season. Approximately, 93 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was cultivated between October 2020 and March 2021 (kharif) season. This crop’s milling had resulted in 62 lakh metric tonnes of rice (purchase period was April-September 2021), while 11 lakh metric tonnes remains to be lifted. Union food minister Piyush Goyal’s charge that the state did not deliver the rice as promised pertains to this 11 lakh metric tonnes between October 2020-March 2021. Following the state’s request for purchasing extra parboiled rice, the Centre agreed to take three lakh metric tonnes of rice from the balance of 11 lakh metric tonnes but the commitment has not been kept. The state government accuses the Centre of causing transportation problems by failing to clear railway rakes and failing to provide storage space. There are approximately 3,000 rice mills in the state, with approximately 900 catering to parboiled rice and the remaining mills being small and fine rice mills. All these mills have the capacity to grind 50 lakh metric tonnes of rice in every cultivation season and receive 35 lakh metric tonnes of rice in return. “We have a heavy burden on the rice mills. Contrary to popular belief, we are still holding paddy and rice stocks. We have increased our capacity by 20%, but some rice is still not lifted,” said Gampa Nagender, president of the Telangana State Rice Mills Association.
     
     
  • Rice millers to min: Stop pilferage of paddy

  • Chandigarh: Punjab food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Lal Chand Kataruchak on Saturday said a policy catering to the interests of rice millers would be formulated soon “Transparency would be the hallmark of my working,” he said as representatives of Punjab Rice Millers Association (PRMA) met the minister at his office on Saturday. PRMA representatives, led by their organisation’s chief and All India Rice Miller Association president Tarsem Saini, also made a case for stopping the pilferage of paddy, which is stored in rice mills for custom milling, as this causes a huge loss to the state exchequer. Distribution of paddy amongst rice millers must be fair and equitable besides representation should be given to rice industry in the the district allotment committees, demanded the association delegation. The minister assured the delegation of all cooperation to the rice milling sector. The delegation included representatives of the Rice Miller Association from Patiala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Ropar, Mansa, Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdaspur.
     
     
     
  • Adani Wilmar plans acquisition of brands and processing units in mass rice segment

  • Country's largest commodity company Adani Wilmar is betting big on staples and scouting for acquisition of regional rice brands and processing units in several states of the country, a top company official said. The company will launch branded daily-use rice under the fortune brand beginning with West Bengal from early April. Staple is just 11 per cent of the company's topline. Adani Wilmar had acquired a sick rice processing unit in West Bengal to mark the journey in the segment which is 30-35 million tonne per annum in size.
     "We are targeting to grow fast in the daily-use rice segment which is 30-35 million tonne per annum apart from public distribution foodgrain. We are scouting for acquisitions of brands and rice processing units in several states for fast growth. We have done first from West Bengal taking over a sick unit," Adani Wilmar MD & CEO, Angshu Mallick told PTI.
    Acquisitions allow quicker rollout and rapid growth. Greenfield will take at least two years to begin operation, he said. "We are already into Basmati but it is only 10 per cent of rice consumption so we cannot ignore regional local rice used for daily consumption which is a huge untapped market," Mallick said. "We will launch packaged local rice based on regional preference. In Bengal, we will launch Baskati and miniket rice which is common here. Sona masuri in Uttar Pradesh and Kolam rice in South India," he added. The company which hit the capital market recently had earmarked Rs 450-500 crore for acquisition and atta and rice is major focus area in the staples segment.
    Adani is scouting for more rice units and brands in North India and South India. "We will ideally have one unit each in states first and then gradually scale up. We will procure paddy from farmers, mandis and brokers," Mallick said. Adani Wilmar has 22 own factories in total and has sourcing arrangement products from 28 more plants across the country.
    Staple contributes 11 per cent to Adani Wilmar's topline while the rest is from edible oil and industry essentials. "We are aiming at 30 per cent growth in the food segment and 6-7 per cent in edible oil in volume terms," Mallick said. The company was also looking at inorganic space to expand its food basket.
    The company reported a 66 per cent rise in its Q3 consolidated net profit at Rs 211 crore as compared to Rs 127 crore in the year-ago quarter. The company's revenue from operations rose over 40 per cent to Rs 14,379 crore from Rs 10,229 crore in the same quarter last year.
     
  • India’s natural, organic farming strategy for rice and wheat

  • This can help in targeting global export market, thereby feeding the world population and getting valuable foreign exchange for the country India’s natural, organic farming strategy for rice and wheat Photo: iStock India is predominantly agrarian — 80 per cent of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. Rice and wheat are the staple for 90 per cent of the country’s people.  Till the early 1960’s, the predominant mode of cultivation was what is now called “organic farming”, with no synthetic fertilisers or pesticides available or known.  At that time, farmers relied on cow dung, twigs of leguminous plants like Crotalaria junceaTephrosianeem and jeelugu. These materials mulched the fields ploughed for rice plantation. Oil cakes of groundnut, castor, neem were also used which is a good source of nitrogen.  Since the use of urea from the beginning of the 1960s, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium-based fertilisers became available after the establishment of industrial plants at Sindri (Bihar) Udyog Mandal (Kerala).

    Fortunately, in this decade, synthetic pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), endrin, and others entered the market. Another spectacular discovery was that of the high-yielding hybrid wheat and rice. The high-yielding wheat was discovered by Norman Borlaug (Nobel Prize winner) and was rapidly adopted by India largely due to the pioneering work of Dr Swaminathan and MV Rao. 

    Swaminathan is remembered as the ‘father of Green Revolution’ and Rao as the “wheat man of India”. With hybrid varieties and synthetic fertilisers and insecticides, the production of rice per acre increased to 40 quintals from 10 quintals, a tremendous victory in fighting hunger. There were also some setbacks during the 1960s and 70s. India’s budget (read agriculture) is dependent on the monsoon season, as George Curzon pointed out in 1905.  Due to drought from 1964-70, India had to import food and became heavily dependent on the United States for wheat supplies under the Public Law 480 agreement. At one time, we were eagerly waiting for the arrival of a ship full of wheat at the Mumbai port. The late former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri gave a call to “miss a meal” on Monday nights as a part of the Jai Kisan movement.  Green Revolution Ultimately, the Green Revolution was initiated. The theme of the initiative was to boost food grains production of rice and wheat using any method and at any cost. Success followed many setbacks. Biologist-turned-science-writer Rachel Carson published a seminal book called Silent Spring, focused on the harmful effects of pesticides, primarily DDT on our health and environment.  DDT was found to be non-biodegradable and its remnants were traced everywhere — in our body, soil and water. Studies showed its effects on liver and kidneys, including causing cancers.  Scientists rapidly found alternatives and advocated Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a need-based use of pesticides, alternating crops, intercropping as well as usage of bird perches where birds rest, detect insects on crops and eat them.  After DDT, other insecticides like monocrotophos, metasystox, cypermethrin came into use but these are equally harmful to humans, livestock and fish. The “turn to nature” to get pesticide-free food has become a priority. The order of the day is organic farming — natural farming or zero-budget agriculture — which is welcome and most wanted in the agriculture sphere. 

    Not without setbacks

    The first and foremost sound solution is the usage of organic manures from compost, cow dung and ploughing and mulching of leguminous plants. Several plant-based botanical pesticides were discovered. Neem oil, neem kernel extracts, which contain azadirachtin, is the active principle discovered by Germans, the United Kingdom and US.  Neem revived the hope of using harmless pesticides but its availability is very low. Several commercial formulations were available in India. Karanj oil (Karanjin active principle), several leaf extracts like Adathoda and garlic-buds aqueous extracts are found to be effective to some extent as active repellants but they cannot replace synthetic pesticide. There is a growing awareness in India to cultivate the crops by natural fertilisers such as cow dung, leguminous green manures, compost, vermicomposting and biopesticides fungi, bacteria and virus-based  pesticides like Bacillus thuringiensisPseuedomonas aegleTrichoderma verdi.  These bio-pesticides are chiefly produced from diseased insects and soil, among other things. However, it only has limited use on too few fruit and vegetable crops. The problem with the bio-pesticide production is that it is confined to a small industry with no standardisation and doubtful efficacy. Several symposia are held by non-governmental organisations, ideal farmers and governments. Many agricultural magazines hail the miracles of higher yields from organic farming. Particular mention should be made about jeevamrutham — a recently designed concoction called Ramabanam, which gained prominence. These concoctions are made from jaggery, ginger, cow milk, cow curd, cow dung, cow urine, asafoetida. All the ingredients are mixed and fermented for a week, diluted and sprayed on crops.  It is claimed that the product can be used as a fertiliser and a pesticide. The farmers who experimented were quick to endorse the products. Their studies on organic farming presented in symposia on organic farming, however, were confined to few vegetables like tomatoes over a limited area. The yield, the farmers said, is high but not quantified with randomised block design studies.   The active principle of such concoctions is unknown and doesn’t stand scientific security. Moreover, the cost of these concoctions is as high as pesticides and starting products like cow dung are not available in plenty as of today.  For about 90 per cent Indians, rice or wheat are almost exclusively the staple food. So, encouragement of organic farming in a country like India will be meaningful, if applied for rice / wheat. Studies on these crops should also be prioritised. The inconvenient truth, as many farmers put it, is that the land is infertile now without urea in the first few days of rice plantation, and with no application of synthetic pesticides, the entire crop is prone to pests resulting in no yield. The challenge for agriculture scientists is how to maintain the current volume of yield (40 quintals per acre) with organic farming. We need to take with caution some sporadic success stories of organic farming on vegetables and fruits grown in an acre or two. Thus, all the available tools we have with us, like bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides, green manure and vermicompost, their limitation is discussed herein. Constraints of sustainable organic farming are: None of the organic farming tools are available, especially for organic farming of rice that is the staple food in India. Importantly, the whole organic farming depends on cow dung, which is dwindling even as we are particular about their protection (gosamrakshana).  The staple food for cattle is rice straw. While we claim rice production is high and in surplus, the cost of rice remains very high and is not affordable for the poor man. Thus, the increase of cattle population is linked to paddy by rice production. Both are interlinked. Quantification for pesticide residues in food should be done by High Performance Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectra / Mass Spectra (HPLC / MS / MS) method. The sophisticated method has been adopted by advanced countries but is still not in use in India.  The real structure of crop production is dependent on high-yielding hybrid seeds. Continuous research on high yielding varieties by cross breeding with pest resistant wild varieties is essential.

    Compost from urban areas and vermicompost, in particular, don’t seem to have been examined for pesticide residues and harmful trace elements such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead is needed by using HPLC /MS / MS method and atomic absorption spectroscopy. 

    Introduction of transgenic varieties is not recommended for organic and natural farming. Therefore, it is wise to use the first three sprays on crops with natural organic materials and the last two sprays with synthetic pesticides. Research on organic farming should be done using robust scientific methods only. Surprisingly, rice was found to contain high pesticides and trace elements.  This technique should be standardised in India. Our slogan should be “natural and organic farming with high yields at an affordable price to the common man”. India’s wheat exports surpassed $872 million (2021-22) and rice exports in 2021-22 is likely to surpass the record $10 million, according to the agriculture department of the Government of India. 
  • Prices rise across major hubs on higher demand for rice

  • Prices of rice exported from top Asian hubs jumped this week on solid demand, while Vietnamese traders also flagged high shipping costs due to the Ukraine crisis. Thailand's 5% broken rice prices rose to $415-$428 per tonne, on average a peak since late June, from $400-$403 a week ago. As corn and wheat prices rise, animal feed makers were looking to use more broken rice, pushing up prices across the board, Bangkok-based traders said. Another trader said he recently received interest from buyers in Europe, the United States, Iraq and Iran for different grades of Thai white rice. Demand from Hong Kong has also increased, the trader said, with concerns over plans for a city-wide lockdown sparking panic buying by residents. Thailand exported 459,752 tonnes of rice worth $234 million in January, up 8.92% from the same period last year, the commerce ministry said. Rates for top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety rose to $371-$378 per tonne from last week's $370-$376, also a peak since mid-June. "Consumers are trying to build stockpile due to the rally in wheat and corn prices. Demand is improving for rice," said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices rose to their highest since December at $410-$415 per tonne on Thursday, versus $400 last week, amid higher demand, traders said, with the Ukraine-Russia conflict prompting buyers to place more orders from elsewhere in Asia. Another trader said shipping costs had surged since the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, with international freight costs rising 50% and domestic freight costs climbing 70%-80%. "We're concerned costs will keep rising if the conflict continues," the trader said. Traders said farmers in the Mekong Delta had harvested 20%-25% of the winter-spring crop. Domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remain high despite good crops and reserves, traders said, adding that the global market was seeing a hike due the Ukraine-Russia conflict. "It is very much unlikely that local prices will come down soon," a trader said.
  • Odisha government to work on export plan for aromatic rice

  • The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. PDS rice BHUBANESWAR:  The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department has been asked to constitute a resource team and frame a realistic work plan for giving a boost to rice export. Chairing a high-level meeting with different stakeholders for promoting export of rice from the State, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra asked the Agriculture department to identify agro-climatic zones more suitable for cultivation of non-basmati aromatic varieties of paddy in cluster approach. The government has decided to send a team to Andhra Pradesh for gaining firsthand knowledge on the actual practices adopted there in export of aromatic varieties of rice. The Chief Secretary directed the department to frame a realistic work plan with the suggestions from technical sessions of the seminar, and inputs from the resource team so that those could be carried forward. “The State government is committed to enhance farmers’ income by boosting the rice export and the State will provide all possible support for the purpose,” Mahapatra added. Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Asit Tripathy said the rice aggregators in the State need to be mobilised, trained and given handholding support for export-oriented operations.  
  • Admin helps farmers grow aromatic rice in Simdega

  •   Gumla: Simdega administration has rolled out an innovative project to help farmers grow scented rice, package their products and sell them under its Kurdeg rice brand. Kurdeg is a block in the district which is known for its rice cultivation. Titled as aromatic rice bowl project, officials said that the idea is to help the farmers get proper market linkage of their products. “Around 1,000 fathers from 11 blocks in the district were provided seeds of traditional aromatic rice varieties, like kala jeera, jeera ful, gobind bhog, bhukta, mansuri and sambha mansuri, for cultivation. Over the period of time, canals were renovated and others methods of irrigation have been made operational to ensure water supply for irrigation,” said an official. A semi-automatic rice mill has been installed for value addition and it will start milling soon. Officials said that a farmers’ producer organization named Sankh Aroma Trust has been set up for overall operation of rice milling, packaging and branding. The project is the brainchild of Sushant Gaurav, who served as DC of Simdega until last week before his transfer. Speaking to TOI on the project before his transfer, Gaurav said, “A high percentage of population here depends on farming but it is mainly dependent on rainfall. The district administration identified the potential of adding value to the produce and hence, the project was initiated.”
  • Two Basmati rice varieties help boost export.

  • Two Basmati rice varieties help boost exports, farmers’ income

    Both the varieties, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, Delhi, fetch farmers like Singh financial benefits in the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per acre, after taking into account cost of cultivation as well as lease rental for the land.

    basmati-rice Pritam Singh, who farms on 110 acres, including some land taken on lease, at Urlana Khurd village of Haryana’s Panipat district, has just sold his harvest of Basmati rice varieties — PB 1121 and PB 1509 — at the local mandi at Rs 3,800 and Rs 3,500 a quintal, respectively. Both the varieties, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, Delhi, fetch farmers like Singh financial benefits in the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per acre, after taking into account cost of cultivation as well as lease rental for the land. “Since the introduction of high-yielding varieties like PB1121 and PB1509, the production as well as quality in terms of size of the Basmati rice grain increased thus bringing economic benefits to us,” Singh told FE. Singh said prior to the introduction of these two varieties, the yield of traditional varieties was in the range of 12 –13 quintal per acre, while the PB1121 and PB1509 varieties have an average yield of 24 quintal and 26 quintal per acre, respectively. While the high-yielding and larger-grained PB1121 variety was certified as Basmati rice in 2008, the PB1509, which takes fewer weeks for maturity, was released in 2013. Two Basmati rice varieties developed by IARI have contributed 70% of the total value of cumulative exports of long-grain aromatic rice from India worth Rs 2.38 lakh crore between 2010 and 2019, thus bringing benefit to farmers. India exported on an average 3.74 million tonne (mt) of Basmati rice annually during the stated period, of total production of around 5 mt. According to an analysis by IARI of the economic value accrued because of Basmati rice, Rs 1.66 lakh crore worth of export earnings between 2010 and 2019 was from the shipment of PB1121 and PB1509 rice varieties, while domestic sales were to the tune of Rs 51,501 crore in the same period. After deducting the cost of production, the IARI assessment has stated that Rs 1.34 lakh crore has been accrued as earnings to estimated 10 lakh farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who grow two varieties of aromatic and long grained rice. “Improved Basmati varieties have brought prosperity to millions of Basmati farmers by improving their standards of living, better education for children and best health care for family members,” Ashok Kumar Singh, director, IARI, told FE. During 2010-2019, annually, Basmati rice was grown in 18.34 lakh hectares on an average, out of which PB11121 and PB1509 was grown in 67% and 10% of the area, respectively. The rest of the varieties grown by farmers include PB1, PB6 and PB1718, which are also developed by IARI. ajor export destinations of India’s Basmati rice include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and the UAE, besides some European countries. India exported Basmati rice worth Rs 29,849 crore ($4018 million) in 2020-21. Recently, IARI has released improved varieties PB1847, PB1885 and PB1886; these are improved varieties with inbuilt resistance to bacterial blight and blast diseases. “These varieties would reduce the use of pesticides significantly in basmati cultivation,” Ranjith Kumar Ellur, scientist, rice section, division of genetics, IARI, said.
  • Rice Price to Stabilize on Adequate Supply

  • Rice Price to Stabilize on Adequate Supply and Low-Cost Shipments from India rice This year, rice prices are forecast to ease, thanks primarily to rising production and exports from India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Pakistan. India dominates global trade, more than doubling its supplies at a competitive cost over the past two years. Rice prices are predicted to drop this year with sufficient supply worldwide, a new report published by IndexBox states. According to USDA data, global milled rice production is forecast to remain stable, totalling 510M tonnes. World’s total exports will reach 51M tonnes, which includes paddy, milled, semi-milled and broken rice, staying at the previous year level. Sufficient exports from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, and low-cost rice supplies from India are set to provide price stability this year. According to the World Bank forecast, the average price for white rice from Thailand (5% broken, FOB, Bangkok) will drop by 12% y/y to near $400 per tonne in 2022. Last year, the prices for Thailand’s rice fell by approx. 8% y/y, while Vietnamese white rice (5% broken, FOB, Hanoi) rose in price by 4% y/y to $446 per tonne. India dominates global trade, boosting total rice exports twofold to over 20M tonnes during the past two years. Due to increasing Minimum Price Support (MSP) for rice, India managed to sharply expand the harvested area and ramp up output and exports, offering the product at competitive prices on the global market. India has also invested massive funds in its deep-water ports to ship in bulk in addition to the typical containers. Global Rice Exports by Country Global rice exports were estimated at 46M tonnes in 2020, rising by 9.8% on the previous year. In value terms, supplies expanded notably to $25.2B (IndexBox estimates). India represented the major exporting country with an export of around 15M tonnes, which accounted for 32% of total exports. It was distantly followed by Thailand (5.7M tonnes), Viet Nam (5.6M tonnes), Pakistan (4M tonnes), the U.S. (3.3M tonnes) and China (2.3M tonnes), together constituting a 45% share of total exports. Myanmar (2M tonnes), Brazil (1.4M tonnes), Uruguay (1M tonnes), Paraguay (0.9M tonnes), and Italy (0.8M tonnes) occupied a minor share of total exports. In value terms, India ($8B) remains the largest rice supplier worldwide, comprising 32% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Thailand ($3.7B), with a 15% share of global exports. It was followed by Viet Nam, with an 11% share. From 2018 to 2020, the average annual growth rate in terms of value in India amounted to +4.2%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Thailand (-18.7% per year) and Viet Nam (+3.2% per year).
  • Agriculture Department to set up mini rice mills

  • Agriculture Minister P. Prasad inaugurating the harvest of paddy cultivated by a doctor at Kanjikuzhy in Alappuzha on Saturday.
     
    The Agriculture Department will contemplate setting up modern mini rice mills to process paddy harvested from upland fields in Kanjikuzhy and nearby areas. Inaugurating the harvest of Rakthashali, Jaya and Basmati rice varieties cultivated on an experimental basis in Kanjikuzhy grama panchayat, Agriculture Minister P. Prasad said that steps would be taken to promote upland rice cultivation in the region.
     
    The rice varieties were cultivated by Sreekanth, a dental doctor, on 4.5 acres at Kundelattu paddy polder. "The cultivation of different rice varieties has turned out to be a success. The Agriculture Department will take steps to extend paddy cultivation on upland fields in the region. To address the issue of processing the harvested paddy, the department will consider setting up modern mini rice mills," Mr. Prasad said. Kanjikuzhy is known for its organic vegetable farming. The grama panchayat officials said that several farmers in the region were now gearing up for commercial rice production.
     

    Of the three varieties cultivated at Kundelattu, Rakthashali with red husk and grain is considered uneconomical compared to some high yielding rice varieties. But the nearly-extinct variety of rice with high medicinal value has properties to cure many ailments. Dr. Sreekanth bought the Rakthashali seeds from Narayanan, a farmer and Basmati seeds from an online marketplace.

    Kanjikuzhy grama panchayat president Geetha Karthikeyan presided. Grama panchayat vice president M. Santhosh Kumar, agriculture officer Janeesh and others spoke.
  • Ukraine war: Amritsar rice exporter in a fix as stock stuck midway

  • Punjab millers’ Assn seeks Centre’s intervention Ukraine war: Amritsar rice exporter in a fix as stock stuck midway Amritsar, February 26 Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than two dozen containers of rice stock of a local exporter have been stuck midway. This development is expected to cost him crores of rupees. Containers of basmati rice were recently despatched to Ukraine by Arvinderpal Singh, a prominent basmati rice exporter. Some containers were despatched on the day the war broke out while others are en route to Ukraine. Arvinderpal said six containers had landed at a Ukrainian port on the day when the war broke out. “Due to the current situation, about half a dozen en route containers have now been diverted to other countries.” He fears a loss worth crores of rupees. Meanwhile, the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has sought the Centre’s immediate intervention into the matter to protect their interests.
  • Asia rice: Thai rates slip on weak baht; India’s demand

  • BENGALURU/HANOI/ BANGKOK/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Rice export prices in Thailand fell to an over 1-1/2 month low this week due to a weaker baht, while an uptick in overseas buying boosted rates in leading exporter India. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were quoted at $400 per tonne this week, down from $410-$420 a week ago. The baht weakened to 32.68 against the US dollar on Thursday, or by nearly 1.6% from a week ago and 1.3% from Wednesday, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Prices eased in line with the baht weakening, which is an effect of Russia’s invasion,” a Bangkok-based trader said, adding that domestic rice prices still remained stable. India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $370 to $376 per tonne this week, up from the last week’s $368 to $374. “Despite the depreciation in rupee, exports prices are moving higher. Demand is good from African and Asian buyers,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Indian farmers are likely to harvest a record 127.93 million tonnes of rice against 124.37 million tonnes produced the year before. In neighbouring Bangladesh, domestic rice prices stayed elevated despite good crops and reserves, officials said. The country’s rice stock at government warehouses surged to 1.7 million tonnes this month, according to the data from the food ministry. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $395-$400 per tonne, compared with $400 per tonne a week ago. “Importers are buying moderately, waiting for prices to fall when the winter-spring harvest peaks,” said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City. “Exports will increase from next month, with the key markets being the Philippines and Africa,” the trader said. Preliminary shipping data showed 219,000 tonnes of rice is to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in February, with most of the rice heading to the Philippines.
  • Asia rice: Vietnam rates rise as activity picks up, India market subdued

  • SINGAPORE: Prices of rice exported from Vietnam rose to a two-month high this week as market activity picked up again following the holidays, while low demand kept Indian rates near a one-month low. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $400 per tonne on Thursday, the highest since mid-December and up from $395 a week ago. “Prices have edged up slightly as trading activity is resuming following the Lunar New Year Holiday and demand is seen picking up,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding that traders were buying moderate amounts from farmers ahead of the upcoming winter-spring harvest. Some traders said they will be joining a tender issued by South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp to purchase an estimated 72,200 tonnes of rice. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was unchanged at $368-$374 per tonne, holding near the lowest in more than a month as demand was muted from key buyers. “White rice buyers are shifting to Myanmar and Pakistan because of lower prices,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. Indian farmers are likely to harvest a record 127.93 million tonnes, compared with 124.37 million tonnes the year before. Meanwhile, rain-fed rice output in neighbouring Bangladesh is expected to rise to 15 million tonnes this year, as farmers raised acreage to cash in on higher prices and favourable weather, according to the country’s Agriculture Ministry. But despite the good crops and reserves, Bangladesh has been battling high domestic prices of the staple. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were quoted at $410-$420 per tonne, up from $407-$415 last week, mainly due to a change in the exchange rate, traders said, with the baht having gained 1.7% versus the dollar from Feb. 11 till Thursday. But a Bangkok-based trader said prices could soon weaken as the off-season harvest begins.
  • State goes slow on paddy purchase, milled rice delivery

  • BHUBANESWAR: Even as the farmers are crying foul over delay in procurement of paddy leading to lapse of tokens, the Odisha government is lagging behind in both purchase of paddy under minimum support price system and delivery of custom milled rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI). In the ongoing kharif marketing season (KMS), the State government agencies have procured 36.33 lakh tonne of paddy under the decentralised procurement system as against 43.98 lakh tonne during the same period last year. 
     
    In the delivery of custom milled rice (CMR), the State is way behind last year’s achievement. As per FCI procurement data, the State has so far delivered 12,313 tonne of custom milled rice to the Central agency against the last year’s figure of 4.56 lakh tonne. However, the progress in milling rice for distribution under different food security schemes is comparatively better than last year. The Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation (OSCSC), the government agency mandated for paddy procurement and supply of rice under public distribution, has received over 2.87 lakh tonne of rice against 2.51 lakh tonne during the corresponding period last year. The total rice procurement till end of January 2022 was 2.99 lakh tonne against 7 lakh tonne last year. As the blame game over lifting of parboiled rice between the State and Centre continues, the rice millers who are benefitting the most out of it are going slow as they are not keen to supply raw rice to the FCI. “We have sufficient stock of parboiled rice in our warehouse. As FCI refused to lift parboiled rice from this kharif marketing season, there is hardly any space to accommodate paddy and rice at the same time,” said a rice miller from Western Odisha. The Department of Food Distribution and Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Food, had intimated the State government on August  3, 2021 that the FCI will not lift parboiled rice from Odisha from the next KMS (2021-22). The issue was raised by BJD MPs in the Rajya Sabha last week. The State government has targeted to procure 63 lakh tonne of paddy (nearly 42 lakh tonne rice) in the kharif season and 14 lakh tonne paddy (around 10 lakh tonne rice) in rabi season.  
  • Experts advise growing more low GI rice to fight spurt in diabetes

  • Experts advise growing more low GI rice to fight spurt in diabetes ‘Increasing shift to sedentary lifestyle driving up cases' With sedentary lifestyle increasingly becoming the norm in India — more so in view of the Covid-19 induced work-from-home trend — driving up the number of diabetes cases, scientists from ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition and ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research have favoured large-scale cultivation of the low Glycemic Index (GI) rice as a fit diet for diabetic people in the country. Any variety of rice with less than 55 GI is considered diabetic-friendly, according to scientists. A low GI diet helps curb cravings and prevent sugar levels from spiking, reduces heart risks, and aids weight  loss. “Considering increased shift towards sedentary lifestyle in majority of the population, necessary policy changes are to be made at various levels to increase the cultivation of low-GI rice in the country,” lead author of the study, D Sanjeeva Rao from IIR said. His colleagues J Aravind Kumar, V Ravindra Babu and R M Sundaram and Ananthan and  T Longvah, both from ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition co-authored the study published in the latest edition of journal Current Science. Most rice varieties in India are of high GI, a food quality said to contribute to the health problems surrounding high-calorie intake and dysregulated glucose metabolism. Manipulation of GI through various approaches is considered to significantly help in the fight against diabetes and related diseases. The scientists also noted that paddy procured from the farmers is processed to milled rice and sold in the market under various brand names, and often the varietal purity is compromised. Hence, they emphasized that it is equally important to indicate the original name of the variety, GI value and available carbohydrate value on the label to translate the advantages of this research to society. The IIRR has already identified three rice varieties with low GI values which are considered suitable for diabetic patients. These are Lalat (GI=53.17), BPT 5204 (GI=51.42) and Sampada (GI=51). Also, named the ‘Telangana Sona’, yet another low GI rice variety has been developed by researchers at Professor Jayaprakash Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU).  India is known as the Diabetes capital of the world with above 77 million adults suffering from diabetes, this number is expected to increase to 134 million by 2045. According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes mellitus is considered as one of the major causes of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower-limb amputation.
  • From Plate to Plough: Fix rice farming to avoid a bumper emissions harvest

  • The amount of methane emitted from paddy fields of India is 3.396 teragram per year, which is 71.32 mt CO2e. By Ashok Gulati & Reena Singh Against the ‘carbon neutrality by 2070’ target set by India at CoP26, Budget FY23 lists “climate action” and “energy transition” as priorities for the “Amrit Kaal”. The announcement of an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore for solar PV modules, co-firing of 5-7% of biomass pellets in thermal power plants, “sovereign green bonds, and “battery-swapping policy” was made in the context. These are steps towards making energy and transport sector less polluting. But in the case of agriculture, Budget announcements have been rather limited. We know that agriculture contributes 73% of country’s total methane emissions. India has kept itself away from recent EU-US pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, despite it being the third-largest emitter of methane globally. It is in this context, one has to see the Budget announcement of chemical-free natural farming within a 5-km-wide corridor along the Ganga, support for millets, increased domestic production of oilseeds, kisan drones, etc. While these are welcome steps, they do not give enough comfort on overcoming the environmental damage already done by this sector as a result of subsidies on urea, canal irrigation, and power for irrigation, along with minimum support prices (MSP) and procurement policies that are concentrated in a few states and largely on two crops, rice and wheat. On January 1, the country had stocks of wheat and rice in the central pool that were 4X higher than the buffer stocking norms. In fact, rice stocks with the FCI are an astounding 7X higher than the buffer norms. This is despite record distribution of rice in PDS and record exports of rice (17.7MMT) in 2020-21! The financial value of these excessive grain stocks is Rs2.14 lakh crore, out of which Rs 1.66 lakh crore is just because of the excess rice stocks, estimated at economic cost of rice and wheat as given by FCI. Interestingly, the Economic Survey 2021-22, pegs the economic cost of rice and wheat as being higher than those reported by FCI. If one uses Economic Survey costs, then the value of excess stocks jumps to Rs 2.56 lakh crore, with rice accounting for approximately Rs 2 lakh crore. It is not just inefficient use of scarce capital locked up, the excess stocks are also reflective of a large quantum of greenhouse gases (GHG) embedded. As per the national GHG inventory, agriculture emits 408 million tonnes (mt) of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e), and rice cultivation is the third-largest source (at 17.5%) within Indian agriculture, after enteric fermentation (54.6%) and fertiliser use (19%). Paddy fields are anthropogenic sources of atmospheric nitrous oxide and methane—273 and 80-83 times more powerful than CO2 in driving temperature increase in 20 years, respectively. The amount of methane emitted from paddy fields of India is 3.396 teragram per year, which is 71.32 mt CO2e. Two important points need to be noted here: First, India is not reporting nitrous oxide emissions in its national GHG inventories. There is scientific evidence that intermittent flooding reduces water and methane emissions, but increases nitrous oxide emissions. Thus, lowering methane emissions through controlled irrigation does not necessarily mean net low emissions. Second, there are emissions due to burning of rice residues, application of fertilisers, production of fertilisers for rice, energy operations like harvesting, pumps, processing, transportation, etc, which are not being accounted in GHG emissions by rice production. A study by Vetter et al (2017) used Cool Farm Tool (CFT) model to estimate annual GHG emissions associated with crops, from production to the farm gate. This study reported emission of 5.65 kg CO2e GHG per kg of rice. Furthermore, rice cultivation requires about 4,000 cubic metres of water per tonne. Even if half of this percolates back to the ground, the excess stocks of 46 mt of rice embed about 92 billion cubic metres of water as well as 260 mt CO2e. According to the IMF, the world needs a global carbon tax of $75 per tonne by 2030 to reduce emissions to a level consistent with a 2°C warming target. India does not have an explicit carbon-price yet, but many countries have instituted carbon pricing, with Sweden leading the pack, at as high a rate as $137 per tonne of CO2e while the EU is at $50/t of CO2e. It is high time that India announced indicative carbon pricing and create a vibrant carbon market to incentivise ‘green growth’ in Amrit Kaal. Economic Survey 2021-22 points out that India is over-exploiting its groundwater resources, particularly in its northwestern and southern reaches. This is primarily due to paddy cultivation on 44 million hectares. Paddy helped achieve food security, but now is the time to save groundwater and the environment. It calls for revisiting policies on subsidising power and fertilisers, MSP, procurement, etc. Farmer groups and the private sector can be mobilised for developing carbon markets in agriculture, both at the national and international levels, which can reward farmers for switching from carbon-intensive crops such as rice to low carbon crops, or for improving farming practices in rice to lower GHG emissions. Moving towards ‘net-zero’ agriculture will give India ‘climate smart’ agriculture. And if we can protect productivity levels with a low carbon footprint, it will help India access global markets too. Respectively, Infosys Chair professor for agriculture, and senior fellow, ICRIER
  • India’s basmati rice exports hit 4-yr low as Iran trims buying

  • Workers lift a sack of rice to load onto a truck at a wholesale grain market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo  

    MUMBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - India's basmati rice exports plunged a fifth from a year ago to the lowest level in four years in 2021 as top buyer Iran slashed purchases after its rupee reserves dwindled, government and industry officials said.

    The country's basmati rice exports in 2021 fell 20% from a year ago to 4 million tonnes, the lowest since 2017, according to government data.

    Shipments to Iran, the biggest buyer of India's basmati rice, plunged 26% from a year ago to 834,458 tonnes, the data showed.

    "Iran wasn't active in the market for a few months last year after its rupee reserves with Indian banks depleted," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house.

    Iran previously had a deal to sell oil to India in exchange for rupees, which it used to import critical goods, including agricultural commodities, but New Delhi stopped buying Tehran's oil in May 2019 after a U.S. sanctions waiver expired.

    Tehran continued using its rupees to buy goods from India, but without crude sales, which brought down Iran's rupee reserves. read more

    There was slowdown in exports in the middle of 2021 but in the last two-three months buying from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other key buyers have picked up, said Vijay Setia, former president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).

    India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East.

    The country total rice exports jumped nearly 46% in 2021 from a year ago to a record 21.42 million tonnes as Bangladesh, China and Vietnam increased purchases.

    Basmati rice production in 2021 fell around 15% from a year ago because of lower area and untimely rainfall during harvesting season, Setia said.

    "Export prices of basmati rice have gone up by 20% because of lower production, but still demand is robust for February and March shipments," Setia said.

     

  • Fortified rice in 14 districts from April

  • Ahmedabad: Officials of state civil supplies department on Thursday said the state will start distribution of fortified rice in 14 districts through the public distribution system (PDS). Before the launch, the department along with Food Research Laboratory (FRL) of the Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) carried out an awareness programme to dispel myths about ‘plastic rice’. Officials said fortified rice is made with rice flour mixed with micronutrients — folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. Thus, it’s colour and shape is sometimes different from rice grains. According to national standards, fortified rice has one such pellet mixed per 100 grains of rice. G P Darbar, technical officer at FRL, said there are multiple tests through which citizens can determine whether the rice in question is ‘plastic’, including soaking it in water (the pellet will fall to the bottom, while a plastic grain will float) and burning (a plastic one will smell). H P Sanghvi, director of DFS, said they regularly receive samples where citizens call the pellets ‘plastic rice’.
  • Modern rice mill to come up at Chinnamanur, says Minister

  •  
    Whenever the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu, temples across the State had been given a facelift and kumbabishekams were performed, said Minister for Cooperation I Periasami here on Thursday. Speaking at a meeting at Chinnamanur Uzhavar Sandhai, he said that soon after the DMK assumed office in May 2021, the government swung into action and retrieved thousands of acres of lands from encroachers. On the one hand, the government has been fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic while on the other side, it focused on development. Very recently, Vadapalani Murugan Temple witnessed kumbabishekam. Despite several odds, the officials and temple staff performed the rituals without compromising on the agama sastras, he said and informed that the Sivakami Amman - Poola Nandeeswarar Temple here would witness kumbabishekam soon.

    Quality rice

    The DMK government had promised to supply quality rice through PDS outlets. It had been decided to set up a state-of-the-art rice mill at Chinnamanur for this purpose. It would procure paddy from farmers and send the rice to ration shops from here directly. This is going to be a reality soon, he said and added that the modern rice mill would come up on an outlay of ₹ 108 crore. For the benefit of the plantain growers, the government had established a cold storage facility. It has a great impact so that they would establish more such facilities in different locations in Theni district including Uthamapalayam, Bodi and Cumbum.

    The government strived hard to maintain the storage level in Mullaperiyar reservoir at 142 feet. He recalled the legal battle undertaken by the DMK government and assured the farmers that the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin would not let them down at any cost.

    The party MLAs Cumbum N Ramakrishnan and Andipatti Maharajan were present. Earlier, Mr Periasami introduced the candidates to the voters. He also addressed meetings at different locations in Theni district.
  • Substantial rise in FCI allocation of rice for ethanol production

  • image caption

    No diversion of foodgrain from cental pool buffer stock, says Piyush Goyal

    Allocation of rice from FCI (Food Corporation of India) for the production of ethanol has been raised by 466 per cent during the ethanol supply year (ESY) December 2021- November 22. To a query in Lok Sabha on the details of the quantum of foodgrains diverted from the buffer stock of FCI for the production of ethanol, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said there is no diversion of foodgrains from the buffer stock in the Central pool. “With a view to increasing production of fuel-grade ethanol for blending with petrol, the government enables distilleries to produce ethanol from surplus rice available with FCI,” he said. For ESY 2020-21, the government had allocated 81,044 tonnes of FCI rice to distilleries for production of ethanol. Rice was priced at ₹20 per kg ex-FCI godown. Of this, distilleries in the country had lifted 49,233 tonnes of FCI rice for the production of ethanol during the ESY 2020-21. During the current ESY 2021-22, the government has allocated 4,58,817 tonnes of rice for the production of ethanol at a price of ₹20 per kg ex-FCI godown. Of this, the distilleries in the country have already lifted 19,929 tonnes of FCI rice till January 27.

    Wheat, rice procurement

    In a separate reply to a query on the quantum of procurement of wheat, rice, sugarcane and other kharif crops, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said 433.44 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat have been procured in 2021-22. Added to this, 601.85 lt of rice and 2996.37 lt of sugarcane have been procured in 2020-21. On the number of farmers benefited from the procurement, he said in the reply that 49.19 lakh wheat farmers got the benefit during the rabi marketing season 2021-22 as against 43.35 lakh farmers in 2020-21. Apart from this, 1.31 crore paddy farmers got the benefit during the kharif marketing season of 2020-21 as against 1.24 crore in 2019-20. To another query, Choubey said 426.98 lt of covered storage (owned and hired) capacity was available with FCI for storage of foodgrains as on on January 1. The stock position of FCI was at 290.46 lt as on January 1. “No food grains got rotted in FCI due to shortage of godowns in the last three years,” he said.

    Cotton purchase

    Replying to a separate question on whether the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) had entered the market to purchase cotton, Darshana Jardosh, Union Minister of State for Textiles, said CCI is mandated to procure raw cotton, if prices of raw cotton fall below Minimum Support Price (MSP). “Since market price of raw cotton has been ruling above MSP right from the beginning of the current cotton year, there has been no need for CCI to undertake MSP operations. However, CCI has deployed adequate manpower at procurement centres to keep a close watch on kapas arrivals, market rates, and to meet any eventuality to undertake MSP operations wherever required,” the Minister said. A note in the reply said that seed cotton prices for FAQ grade are ruling much above MSP level since the beginning of current cotton season 2021-22, and farmers are getting higher prices. Thus, farmers do not require market intervention by CCI in current cotton season so far, as they are getting 65 per cent to 70 per cent higher above MSP rates by market forces itself, the note said.
  • Non-Basmati rice exports likely to cross 17 MT this financial year: BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association

  • non basmati rice Exports of non-Basmati rice are poised to cross 17 million tonne (mt) for the current financial year. Exports have already crossed 12.53 mt for the current season against 13 mt for the entire 2020-21 season, BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association (REA), told FE. According to data released by the association, non-Basmati rice exports have recorded a 51.8% rise between April and December last year, over the previous year’s corresponding period, due to high purchases made by China and Bangladesh. Non-basmati rice shipments crossed 12.53 mt over April-December 2021, compared to 8.25 mt in the same period last year. In value terms, the non-basmati rice shipments were up by 46% at $4.48 billion compared to $3.07 billion same time last year. In the April to December 2021 period, Bangladesh imported 1.58 mt in the current year, as against 13,811 tonne for the same period the previous year. In value terms, this translates to $596 million for the April-December 2021 period as against $13.47 million for the April to December 2020 period. Rao said that although Bangladesh has been the largest purchaser of non-Basmati rice from India in the 2021 period, the country has not been buying from India for the last four months since their purchases are largely determined by government decisions. China has imported 0.9 mt from India in the April to December 2021 period valued at $275 million, while the imports from the April to December 2020 period were 33,705 tonne and the shipments were worth $ 10,29 million for this period. Rao stated that China may continue to purchase rice from India and the shipments from India are likely to cross 1.5 mt for the entire year. Other major buyers of Indian rice include Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Togo, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia, among others. Recently, the agriculture ministry said that the country’s exports of Basmati and non-Basmati rice are likely to touch 21-22 mt for the current fiscal.
  • Rising freight rates impact India’s basmati exports to West Asia

  • Doubling of freight rates for shipments to West Asia from the beginning of February has started impacting basmati rice exports to the region. As a result, basmati exports are likely to decline more than 10% year-on-year in this financial year, said industry executives. West Asia has traditionally been the largest buyer of Indian basmati rice, accounting for 85-90% India’s basmati exports. “In the first nine months of the current financial year, basmati exports were down by 38% compared to the same period last financial year,” Vinod Kaul, executive director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), told ET. “The trade was expecting exports to go up in the fourth quarter of FY22 as the Ramadan month of April was coming when the Middle East buys good quantities of basmati rice.” The surge in freight rates will hurt exports, said Kaul. “The freight cost has more than doubled in the last ten days beginning February. The freight rate was $1,100 per container at January-end which has shot up to $2,300 per container now,” he said. India exported 4.6 million tonnes of basmati rice in 2020-21. But this fiscal, exports are unlikely to cross 4.1 million tonnes, said Kaul. “The payment problem with Iran continues, though some exports are happening through third currency payments which are permitted by the Reserve Bank of India,” he said. However, while basmati rice exports are reeling under rising freight rates and exporters have no choice to send the rice to other destinations, non-basmati rice exports are doing exceedingly well. Exports of non-Basmati rice are expected to cross 17 million tonnes this fiscal, said BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association. Exports crossed 12.53 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2021-22, as against 13 million tonnes in the entire 2020-21. Non-basmati rice exports increased 51.8% year-on-year between April and December last year due to higher purchases made by China and Bangladesh.
     
     
     
  • PDS beneficiaries will get fortified rice: Bihar govt

  • PATNA: The state cabinet on Tuesday gave its clearance to the government’s decision to supply ‘poshanyukt chawal (fortified rice)’ to the public distribution shops (PDSs) in the state to overcome the problem of malnutrition in the large chunk of population both in the rural and urban areas. In this regard, the Bihar State Food and Civil Supply Corporation (BSCSC) has been authorized to select the agencies required for the supply of fortified rice to the PDSs. The selection will be done through a proper tendering process, cabinet secretariat department additional chief secretary Sanjay Kumar said. The agencies concerned will also be authorized to procure fortified rice kernel (FRK) that has to be mixed with rice to prepare the fortified rice. It would require mixing of 1kg of FRK with 99kg rice. The proposal for the cabinet clearance had been moved by the food and consumer protection department. As its target people, the scheme will cover 85% of rural population and 75% of those living in the urban areas. The cabinet also sanctioned Rs72.82 crore for the construction of buildings with their specifics at Bagaha and Valmikinagar in West Champaran district to house the offices meant for Mahila Swabhiman Vishesh Sashastra Bal.The sanction was also given to the proposal of the health department for the creation of 32 posts to man Bihar Health Science University, Patna. The building construction department has been authorized to select representatives from Bihar School of Yoga Darshan or those authorised by it, to prepare the curriculum required for the Free Yoga Kendra at Shastri Nagar in Patna.
  • Pune: Rice Mahotsav draws good response from farmers, customers

  • By Swarali Joshirao
    From Indrayani, Ambemohar and Ghansal from Western Ghats to black and red rice recognised for their health benefits, a variety of rice were available for sale during the Rice Mahotsav organised from February 1 to 6 at Maha FPC yard, Pune. Maha Farmers Producer Company (FPC) and NAFED e-Kisan Mandi had organised the festival with the aim to increase farmers’ profit by cutting various expenses incurred by them in delivering farm goods to consumers. As the product directly comes from farm, quality is guaranteed, an official said. Besides FPCs, self-help groups and individual farmers participated in the festival. “When I came to know that some farmers from Maval are facing difficulty in selling their rice, this idea struck my mind. With the help of NAFED e-Kisan Mandi, we have tried to apply Business-to-Consumer model, wherein farmers can earn approximately double their regular income,” said Yogesh Thorat, Managing Director, Maha FPC. “We received commendable footfall. People appreciated our initiative. This can be called a pilot project,” Rahul Godhse, Operations Team, Maha FPC, said. Aajra FCP (Kolhapur), Raigad Farmers Agricultural Producer, Donu Aaee Krushi Gat (Pune), Aandar Mava FPC (Pune), Ganpat Gangaram Kank (Pune), Jay Malhar Krushi and Organic Rice Producer Gat (Pune), Dhondidev Agro Foods (Kolhapur), and Chouras FPC (Bhandara) sold their produce at the festival. Jyoti Sahane, a customer, came all the way from Manchar to buys 250 kilograms of Indrayani rice. “We usually get low-grade Indrayani or a mixed product. I come from a farmer’s family and could easily understand that the product (being sold at the festival) is original. I feel this is a fantastic start. They should conduct such fairs often and for various other products,” she added.
  • Large quantity of rice imported from India last year to fulfil export commitments

  • -Agriculture Minister, GRDB unaware

    Indian High Commissioner Dr KJ Srinivasa has said that a large quantity of rice was imported from India during 2021 by local businessmen in order to meet export commitments.
     
    He made the revelation during a recent interview with the Stabroek News. “In fact, last year when the interesting thing happened, if you see the Indian exports to Guyana, rice became a big export. What happened was there was some Guyanese businessman who needed to get rice from India [because] there was some shortfall somewhere in Brazil or something,” the High Commissioner disclosed.
  • Asia Rice: India rates slip on weak demand, other hubs muted on holidays

  • Rice export prices in India fell for a second straight week as buyers opted for cheaper offers from elsewhere, while activity in other Asian hubs remained relatively quiet due to the Lunar New Year holidays. Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $370 to $376 per tonne this week, down from last week's range of $372 to $379. "Myanmar and Pakistan have been offering rice at a competitive price. Some buyers are moving to these destinations," said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at leading exporter Satyam Balajee. Freight train availability is still limited, and that has been delaying shipments for deals signed last month, he said. Thailand's 5% broken rice prices were little changed at $408-$417 per tonne on Thursday, compared to $408-$415 last week. Thailand aims to ship 7m tons of rice in 2022 as outlook improves One Bangkok-based trader said the market was still muted from the Lunar New Year holidays and most businesses have not resumed. Some orders made before the new year were fulfilled last week and some new deals have been made with buyers from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, another trader said. Thailand aims to export 7 million tonnes of rice this year, 14.6% more than 2021. Markets in Vietnam were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays this week. In Bangladesh, domestic rates for the staple were high despite good crops and hefty reserves, hitting consumers. "Prices of food grains has increased in the international market. People are eating more rice to cope with the high global prices of wheat. That is affecting rice prices," the country's agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque told reporters.
  • Organic black rice finds few takers in Anantapur

  • Enthused by the wide publicity given by the State government to the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) a couple in Dharmapuri village near Dharmavaram in Anantapur district took to organic farming without using chemical pesticides or fertilizer and has been reaping goodyields. Polepalli Revathi and Kondarajugari Seetaramaraju, owning justtwo acres of land in this nondescript village, are seen as ‘different’ as they do not resort to farming in the way other villagers do, and use neem and castor cake in the soil, Jeevamrutham and neem oil for fertilizer and pest control and once their crop comes to harvest stage, they use fermented curd. However,while they have more than 550 kg of processed and packed black rice with them, they are struggling to findtakers. “We expected some NGOs or government agencies to show ushow to market it, but getting back our investment of ₹30,000 per acre looks difficult,” Mr. Seetaramaraju told The Hindu. Things have come to such a pass that at a time when organic black rice is sold at an average of ₹250 to ₹300 a kg in stores, entrepreneurs are asking for the stock for prices lower than the normal white BPT rice. The State government’s agriculture departmentis not providing any support, they lament
     
    “We have reaped very good results for the past three years and got enough seed for our use in the first year in 2019 and used BPT-2841 variety of black rice seeds sourced from Haripuram in Sangareddy, which gave us a healthy crop in 2020 Kharif,”said Ms. Revathi, who also doubles as a tailor at home toboost the family income. Describing the health advantages and nutritional values of black rice, Ms. Revathi said 100 grams of it containsnine grams of protein, as againstseven grams in brown rice. It’s also a good source of iron, and several nutrients, protein, and fiber. Scientists at Agriculture Research Centre at Rekulakunta said thatblack ricehas over 23 types of antioxidants and has the highest antioxidant activity of all rice varieties. The couple can be reached over phone at 8147467521.
  • EXCLUSIVE Indian rice traders stop new export deals as freight train shortage blocks shipments

  • Workers lift a sack of rice to load onto a truck at a wholesale grain market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo

    MUMBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Nearly a third of India's rice exports for this month are stuck due to a shortage of freight trains and most traders have stopped signing February export contracts to avoid demurrage charges, industry officials told Reuters.

    The slowdown in exports from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, has allowed rival suppliers such as Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam to increase overseas sales at higher prices.

    Slowing exports could force the Indian government to increase procurement from farmers.

    Shipments of more than 500,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice that need to be transported to ports on India's east coast from the central state of Chhattisgarh have been stuck due to the shortage of freight trains, dealers said.

    They are part of around 1.5 million tonnes of rice that India had planned to export this month.

    "Cargoes cannot move from producing centres to ports because of freight train scarcity," said Nitin Gupta, vice president of agricultural commodities trader Olam India's rice business.

    "There is no clarity on the availability of trains so nobody is offering fresh cargoes."

    Railway authorities have diverted wagons to ship fertilizers and to serve thermal coal power plants to ensure adequate power supply this winter after power plants ran out of coal a few months ago.

    The delay in Indian shipments is hitting exporters hard as vessel rates have risen to $30,000 per day and some exporters need to pay as much as $500,000 in demurrage charges, wiping out their entire margin, said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India's biggest rice exporter.

    Traders have started quoting higher prices for overseas shipments to cover higher demurrage charges, and prices for India's 5% broken parboiled variety of rice have risen to $380 per tonne, the highest in six months.

    Higher prices and shipping delays are prompting some buyers to switch to rival suppliers such as Thailand and Myanmar, said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of India's Rice Exporters Association.

    International rice prices turn higher on Indian export delays

    Thailand's 5% broken rice prices rose last week to their highest since mid-July 2021 at $404-$405 per tonne.

    "We have requested the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to help us by increasing railway wagons' availability," Rao said.

    India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Railways did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

    In the past traders use to switch to road transport in the absence of railway wagons, but truckers have substantially raised freight charges in the past six months after diesel prices jumped to a record high, said a dealer with a global trading firm.

    "At least for near-month shipments, Asian and African buyers are switching to Thailand, Myanmar and Pakistan. Indian exports could fall in the March quarter," he said.

    India cornered nearly half of global rice shipments in 2021 as its exports surged 45% from 2020 to a record 21.4 million tonnes, or more than the combined exports of the next three largest exporters Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan, according to provisional government data.

    India's rice production has jumped to a record high in the current year and prices are still competitive, but logistics' bottlenecks are limiting exports, said Himanshu of Satyam Balajee.

     

  • Basmati prices on upswing in Punjab, with reduction in area hitting supply

  • Chandigarh With basmati supplies expected to be constrained with area under its cultivation falling this season, the aromatic variety has seen an upward swing in the prices, crossing over 4,000 a quintal, over the past ten days Punjab has seen basmati prices on upswing as there has been a 26% reduction in area under cultivation of the crop; the dynamics of the crop changes every year based on export demand. (HT FILE PHOTO) Punjab has seen basmati prices on upswing as there has been a 26% reduction in area under cultivation of the crop; the dynamics of the crop changes every year based on export demand. Chandigarh With basmati supplies expected to be constrained with area under its cultivation falling this season, the aromatic variety has seen an upward swing in the prices, crossing over 4,000 a quintal, over the past ten days. Last season’s peak season rates ranged between 2,500 and 2,600 in mandis of Kotkapura, Amritsar, Muktsar, Batala, Fatehgarh Churian and Batala. Punjab Mandi Board figures show that to date, 8.35 lakh tonne basmati has arrived in mandis against last year’s corresponding figure of 10.75 lakh tonne. “Prices are expected to cross 4,500 per quintal, with total arrivals expected to be between 13 lakh tonne and 14 lakh tonne. “This upswing in prices has come after years and is good for growers, especially when the area under the crop has reduced by 26% over previous season,” said Ashok Sethi, director, Basmati Exporters Association. The area under premium paddy variety basmati this season has shrunk by one-fourth over the previous seasons. Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) figures show that this season, basmati was sown over 4.4 lakh hectare against last year’s area under of 6 lakh hectare, witnessing a steep fall of 26%. The Centre has been studying the cropping pattern over the past four-five years. Fall in area is attributed to poor economics attached with the premium crop forcing the basmati growers to shift to the Parmal paddy covered under MSP, with 26 lakh hectare is under Parmal. Now, paddy crop sown June-July has matured and is being harvested. “An acre of basmati yields 18-20 quintal, which is sold at price of 2,500 a quintal, for a total sale of 48,000. While the yield of an acre of Parmal variety is 30-32 quintal which sells at a fixed price of 1,940 per acre,” said an official with state’s food and civil supplies department. He adds that parmal fetches per acre value between 58,000 to 62,000 per acre witnessing a benefit of Rs. 10,000 to 12,000. “Prices are expected to see an upward trend this week. There is needs a system to regulate and stabilise prices offered for basmati, so that farmers are not fleeced,” said Surinder Singh, a basmati grower from Batala. According to Sethi, the fall in prices is due to closure of business with Iran which used to export grain worth 12,000 crore from the state. “We hope for more upward swing in the basmati market, once sanctions imposed on Iran by the US are removed; India had also followed the US,” he added. Annually, basmati export from India is worth 34,000 crore, out of with Punjab contributes 40%. The quantum of Indian basmati rice consumed in Saudi Arabia is 50% of import to middle-east; the region itself forms 70% of our country’s export market.  
  • India-Pakistan tug of war over GI tag for Basmati rice takes a new turn

  • India-Pakistan tug of war over GI tag for Basmati rice takes a new turn
    A recent judgement of a European Union court has misled Pakistan into believing that its geographical indication (GI) rights over Basmati rice have been upheld. The judgement gains significance in view of the tussle over GI rights between India and Pakistan.
    India and Pakistan have been in a tug of war over exclusive trademark rights on long-grain Basmati rice. India applied to the EU for protected geographical indication (PGI) status for Basmati rice last year. Pakistan opposed the move as it would deal an adverse blow to the country’s exports to EU. India and Pakistan are the only two countries that export Basmati rice to the world.
    Pakistan’s claim that the latest judgement upholds its rights over Basmati rice is unsubstantiated, S. Chandrasekaran, author of the book, Basmati Rice: The Natural History Geographical Indication, told The Hindu BusinessLine.
    The case
    In October 2017, the UK-based Indo European Food Ltd appealed to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) against registration of the trademark by Venice-based distributor Hamid Ahmad Chakari. Chakari is a distributor in the EU who buys rice from Pakistan, while Indo European Food Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’s Kohinoor Foods Ltd that markets Basmati rice.
    Chakari had obtained the non-registered trademark for rice flour, rice cakes, rice-based snacks, extruded food products made of rice, rice pulp for culinary purposes and rice meal for forage.
    According to Indo European Food Ltd, the trademark relied upon the goodwill associated with the name Basmati.
    The UK firm also said use of the words, ‘Abresham Super Basmati Selaa Grade One World’s Best Rice,’ indicated that the product was Basmati rice and if the rice used was of any other type, it would lead to misrepresentation. This would damage the goodwill of the Basmati rice brand.
    The EUIPO rejected the arguments by Indo European Ltd in April 2019, saying it failed to provide sufficient evidence that the registration of the trademark caused loss to the firm.
    “There was no argument to explain how use of the mark applied for could affect the distinctiveness of the name ‘basmati’,” the EUIPO board of appeal had said.
    What is the EU court judgement?
    The ruling by the Court of Justice of EU came on an appeal filed by Indo European Food Ltd against the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) judgement.
    The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice upheld the registration of  ‘Abresham Super Basmati Selaa Grade One World’s Best Rice’ in the EU and said Indo European Ltd “failed to demonstrate” how the trademark would result in misrepresentation of the name Basmati.
    However, it agreed that a small part of the public could believe that the goods were in some way associated with Basmati rice.
    The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan hailed the judgement and said it “successfully” crushed the Indian application of GI tag for its Basmati rice in the EU.
    India still in the race
    Chandrasekaran said Pakistan is wrongly under the impression that the Court of Justice recognised its Basmati variety.
    Since 2017, the Indian Patent Office has given GI tag for Basmati rice, thereby protecting the exclusivity of the long-grain fragrant rice across the world.
    As the 2017 case revolved around a non-registered product, the Indian registration supersedes such a claim, the expert said. It is now an internationally settled law.
    With the domestic GI tag, India has the legal means to challenge any registered or non-registered trademark post-2017, Chandrasekaran said.
  • A.P. organic rice set to tap world market

  • Export body to give it a makeover to help it face competitors from Southeast Asia

    Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Chairman M. Angamuthu has said that the authority has prepared a road map to export organic rice varieties from Andhra Pradesh to meet the growing demand in the European Union, Middle East and East Asia. Mr. Angamuthu told The Hindu here, “Post COVID-19, many countries, including the European Union are looking for rice varieties grown through organic farming methods in India. We have chosen Andhra Pradesh to source such rice for export.” “The APEDA under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will be the facilitator between the importer and the exporter, and help the latter obtain necessary certification for export. Decks will be cleared for export once organic rice varieties are certified,” said Mr. Angamuthu.

    ‘Branding needed’

    “Despite India being a major rice exporter to 170 countries across the globe, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines remain the prime competitors as India continues to export rice without any key features - branding, promotion and value addition,” explained Mr. Angamuthu. “In a war-footing initiative, a strategy has been prepared to brand the Indian rice varieties with value addition. However, product diversification will be the key strategy to face the challenge from our global competitors,” he added
     

    The senior IAS officer said that the APEDA is all set to groom a group of 100 progressive farmers or Farmers' Producer Organisations from Andhra Pradesh and connect them to the global market to export their respective products including horticulture crops and maize.

  • Don’t tax branded rice under GST, cut taxes on procurement:

  • Don’t tax branded rice under GST, cut taxes on procurement: Vijay Setia, president, AIREA

    Vijay Setia, president, All Indian Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), spoke on critical issues currently impacting the exporters and millers.

    tax branded rice, GST, GST rule, new GST rules, taxes on procurement, rice procurement, AIREA, rice exporters in India, GST council, GST regime, basmati rice shipment India’s basmati rice exports have seen fluctuations in fortune in the last couple of years because of factors such as slowing down in shipment to Iran. (Image: Reuters) India’s basmati rice exports have seen fluctuations in fortune in the last couple of years because of factors such as slowing down in shipment to Iran, the country’s biggest export destination for aromatic long-grained rice, and delay in settlement in payments from importers. Vijay Setia, president, All Indian Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), spoke to FE’s Sandip Das on critical issues currently impacting the exporters and millers. Edited excerpts: What are the key issues rice exporters and millers would be facing post GST scenario? Although the GST council has recommended 5% taxes on branded rice while exempting the cereals from taxes, we feel that it would make rice sold to economically weaker section costlier. In the current scenario, the processor has to put several information such as name of the company, date of packing etc. as per requirement of weights and measures department and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on the rice pack. This would make the rice pack as ‘branded’ thus inviting taxes. The next GST council meeting must address the issue as the government has already promised zero tax on rice under GST regime. States with high local taxes such as mandi fees, arthia (commission agents) commission – 2%, rural development cess (2%) etc. on grain trade mostly prevalent in Punjab, Haryana and others. It should be reduced drastically in the post GST roll out. Because of higher taxation, processors or millers are not willing to set up units in these key producing states. You have been pitching for stopping prevalent practice of documents against acceptance (DA) in non-basmati rice exports while in case of basmati rice shipment, DA has been stopped by the commerce ministry. What are the measures AIREA proposes for exporters to follow so that there are no delays in settlement of payment for rice exported? Because of the prevalence of DA, mostly resorted by small sized basmati rice exporters had become a buyers’ market. Often, consignments are not lifted from the port by importers, and thus, the price has to be renegotiated leading to lower realisation. In a fiercely competitive basmati rice exports trade, small players in order to increase the volume of shipment often send rice consignment to importers who use this unsecure credit to their advantage. We feel that because of the practice of DA, the country’s basmati rice shipment has seen a 29% fall to Rs 22,714 crore in FY16, from a record Rs 29,291 crore reported in FY14. However, the volume of basmati exports has risen from 3.7 million tone (MT) to more than 4 MT in the same period. In FY17, despite lower shipment to Iran, our exports declined to around 5% to Rs 21, 605 crore in comparison to previous fiscal. Thus we has urged government to end the practice of DA in exports of non-basmati rice as well. Basmati rice exporters are currently following two modes – cash against document (invoices are delivered to the importer only against payment) and letter of credit (importers instruct their bank to pay exporters as per the specified conditions mentioned in the original documentary credit). These two methods which are followed widely globally.
     
    After a sharp fall in basmati rice exports in the last couple of years, what is the prospects of aromatic rice shipment in the current fiscal? In the current fiscal, the realisation from basmati rice exports are set to increase compared to last few years. We have been looking at new market for shipment of basmati rice. Overall in the current fiscal the outlook for exports is quite bright.
  • PDS rice worth Rs 3 crore seized in raids across Telangana

  • HYDERABAD: The raids conducted by the enforcement task force of the civil supplies department in the past three months have thwarted diversion and illegal transportation of huge quantities of PDS rice worth over Rs 3 crore. The crackdown was carried out in 179 areas in the state and criminal cases were registered. The enforcement wing has five task force teams comprising 20 retired police officers and officials of the revenue, commercial tax and civil supplies departments as well. Civil supplies commissioner CV Anand claimed the raids helped check the illegal transportation of rice worth Rs 3,16,73,701. The task force seized 3,507 quintals worth of commodities. Paddy worth Rs 1 crore, sugar worth Rs 2.15 core, LPG cylinders, kerosene and 937 quintals of rice meant for sale at fair price shops through Public Distribution System (PDS) were seized.  The frequent raids, in turn, have pushed up the performance of mandal-level stock (MLS) points and FP shops across the state, officials said.
    The department has also stepped up vigil at TS borders to check illegal transportation of PDS rice to other states. In the 2015-16 Kharif season the department recovered 4,525.701 tonnes of rice from illegal trade but only 1,192 tonnes in the 2016-17 season, said officials.
  • Direct procurement scheme to reduce rice prices across Kerala

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    Image for representational purpose only.
    KOCHI: Once cooperative societies and the Consumerfed implement their plan to purchase rice from other states directly, rice will be available at prices lower by `10 than the current market price in Kerala. The consumption pattern shows ‘matta’ rice continues to be the favourite of Malayalis, followed by Jaya and Kuruva. The state government plans to form a consortium of Consumerfed and primary cooperative societies, which will raise a capital of Rs 100 crores. According to Cooperation Department special secretary P Venugopal, a pilot project will be launched using the fund raised by the consortium. “A special purchase committee comprising members of cooperative societies, which procure rice from other states, has been formed. “It will hold talks with rice mill owners and paddy procuring societies in states like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Since profit is not the motto, consumers can be sure of getting rice at lower prices,” said Venugopal. Two types of matta rice is sold in Kerala - long grain matta and short grain matta. Long grain matta is procured from private mill owners and sold at `48-50/kg, while short grain matta is priced between `35 and `39/kg. The Jaya variety, which is another favourite of Keralites, is priced at `45-47/kg, while Kuruva is sold for `32-36/kg. Usually, private rice mills in the state procure paddy from other states, including Karnataka, at `28/kg. When milling charge and retail margin are added, the rice costs `20 more in the retail market. “Cooperative societies and the Consumerfed have not finalised the selling price of rice. We plan to procure processed rice and sell it through the Consumerfed outlets and cooperative societies without profit margin,” he said.