New Delhi (NVI): The first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off today to the United States of America from Assam, in a major boost to India’s rice exports potential.
The flag off ceremony of the consignment was carried out by APEDA, Chairman Dr M Angamuthu at Sonepat in Haryana, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in a statement.
According to the statement, the Iron rich ‘red rice’ is grown in Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer.
The rice variety is referred as ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of the Assamese food. It is being sourced by leading rice exporter – LT Foods.
This development will bring enhance incomes of farming families of the Brahmaputra flood plains, as the exports of ‘red rice’ grow, the ministry noted.
Moreover, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains.
The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA, the statement said.
It added that REPF has representations from rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
“During April -January 2020-21, the shipment of non-Basmati rice witnessed an impressive spike. The non-basmati rice exports were Rs 26,058 crore (USD 3,506 million) during April-January 2021 against Rs 11,543 crore (USD 1,627 million) reported during April-January 2020 period,” the ministry data shows.
The exports of non-Basmati witnessed a growth of 125 per cent in Rupee term and 115 per cent Dollar terms.
Furthermore, the sharp spike in rice exports especially during a phase of COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply changes many commodities. It has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports of rice while taking all the COVID-19 related safety precautions
Angamuthu in this regard said that, “We took several measures in terms of ensuring safety and hygiene because of the operational and health challenges posed by COVID-19, while ensuring that rice exports continue interrupted.”