India’s rice exports are expected to surpass the 17.72 million tonne mark set in FY21.
In the last few years, India’s focus on building port handling facilities, developing a value chain including critical stakeholders, and exploring new opportunities in nations or markets for rice exports has resulted in a massive increase in rice exports. Despite the logistical hurdles created by the COVID19 pandemic, India continues to increase its rice export footprint in Africa, Asia, and the European Union, resulting in India having the most share of the global rice trade.
India’s rice exports grew as a result of strong demand worldwide. India’s rice exports (Basmati and Non-Basmati) increased by 87 per cent to 17.72 million tonnes (MT) in 2020-21, up from 9.49 MT in 2019-20. India’s rice exports increased by 38% in value to USD 8815 million in 2020-21, up from USD 6397 million the last year. India’s rice exports increased by 44% to Rs 65298 crore in 2020-21, compared to Rs 45379 crore the last year. During the first seven months of this fiscal year (2021-22), India’s rice exports grew by more than 33% to 11.79 MT, up from 8.91 MT in April-October 2020-21.
In 2021-22, India’s rice exports are expected to surpass the last high of 17.72 million tonnes (MT) set in 2020-21. India exported non-basmati rice to nine countries in 2020-21: Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Eswatini, Myanmar, and Nicaragua, where exports were made for the first time or where last shipments were smaller in amount.
In 2020-21, India’s non-Basmati rice exports were worth USD 4796 million (Rs 35448 crore), with Basmati rice exports second at USD 4018 million (Rs 29,849 crore). In terms of total shipments of aromatic long-grained rice from India in 2020-21, the top ten countries – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Qatar, and Oman – account for over 80% of total shipments.
In terms of volume, the top ten nations — Nepal, Benin, Bangladesh, Senegal, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Malaysia, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates – account for 57% of India’s total non-Basmati rice exports in 2020-21.
The government taking appropriate measures to ensure rice and other cereals while taking all COVID19 related safety precautions has been attributed to the sharp increase in rice exports, especially when the global COVID19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain of many commodities. “India continues to export rice to the rest of the world, ensuring food security in many countries,” said Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority. “Many countries are stockpiling in preparation for the COVID19 pandemic’s logistical impact,” he continued (APEDA).
APEDA, part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has worked with state governments and other stakeholders to develop port handling facilities in Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Mundra and Krishnapatnam, and Paradip, resulting in increased rice exports. Through interactions with several stakeholders in the value chain, APEDA has surged rice exports.
Under the auspices of the APEDA, the government established the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF). REPF includes rice industry leaders, exporters, APEDA officials, Ministry of Commerce officials, and Agriculture Directors from key rice-producing states such as West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
The APEDA-supported Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) has taken innovative steps to sensitise farmers involved in the cultivation of Basmati rice in crucial growing regions about the adoption of good agricultural practices to surge exports of high-quality aromatic and long-grain Basmati rice.
BEDF, in collaboration with the rice exporters associations of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Delhi, and agriculture universities and departments, organised 75 awareness and training programmes in the seven states to encourage farmers to grow high-quality Basmati rice. BEDF also serves as a technical partner for several FPOs, exporter groups, and other organisations in Basmati rice-growing states. Farmers were informed as part of the awareness-raising effort that Basmati rice farming is an Indian tradition. Their collective responsibility is to keep this legacy alive, given the global market’s high demand for Basmati rice.
Farmers have been told to register on basmati.net through the State Agriculture Department. APEDA has been helping state governments promote Basmati rice farming through the BEDF.
“We will continue to work on building infrastructure to promote exports by focusing on clusters in partnership with state governments, while taking into account the goal of the Agriculture Export Policy, 2018,” stated Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA. APEDA has been working with state governments to effect the Agriculture Export Policy. The State-specific Action Plans for exports have been finalised in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, and Meghalaya, while the action plans of other States are in many stages of completion.