India plays a major role in the global export of Rice. Rice is considered as one of the major staple food in India and is consumed by almost half of the world’s population. The rice which are exporters from India are categorized into three parts (a) Basmati Rice (b) Non- Basmati Rice and Parboiled rice.
Nearly two-thirds of Basmati rice produced in India is exported. It fetches a good business in the international market due to its pleasing ‘aromatic’ feature along with its silky long grain. For India, the Gulf region is the major market for rice exports. India exports about 4.45 million tonnes of Basmati rice to Saudi Arabia annually which makes 20% share of India’s annual export of Basmati rice to Saudi. However, recently concerns have been shown towards the quality of rice which are being exported to Saudi and thus The Saudi Food and Drug Authority had earlier sought test reports on minimum residue levels (MRL) along with a certificate of conformity from Indian exporters. This was to be effective from September 1, 2019, but it has been now deferred to December. According to Vijay Sethi, President of All India Rice Exporters Association “All consignments of Basmati Rice shipped from India and arriving in Saudi Arabia by December 31, 2019, shall be exempted from the new requirement proposed by SFDA (Saudi Food and Drug Authority).” It has now become mandatory for rice exporters to brand the different blends of basmati rice according to the quality to bring in more transparency.
Rice exporters in India have faced similar issues related to MRL (Minimum residue levels) in the past too. Hence, Indian companies have been assisting farmers to use minimum pesticides in rice cultivation.
As per non-basmati rice, India’s major export market in Bangladesh, Australia, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Djibouti, France, Germany, U.K., Hong Kong, Korea, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Singapore, U.A.E. Y.A.R., etc. Other countries which are Indian competitors regarding non-basmati rice exports are Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, China, U.S.A., and Pakistan. Major quantity of non-basmati rice is exported to the Asian continent. After Asia, non-basmati rice is exported from India to the African continent and after Africa Europe has been importing non-basmati rice from India.
The third type of rice which is Parboiled rice, is exported by India to the Middle East and African countries as these countries prefer parboiled rice.
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