Government allows export of ‘Pusa 1121′ riceSeptember 6th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) India has allowed the export of the Pusa 1121 variety of rice from Oct 15 this year, according to a senior government official. This variety is exported mainly to the Gulf countries.
“Pusa 1121 rice will be exported with effect from Oct 15 this year,” a senior official of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) told IANS Friday. He did not wish to be identified.
Traders will have to register themselves with the Apeda before they start exporting Pusa 1121, which is nearly as good as basmati rice.
This variety is grown mainly in Punjab and Haryana, two of India’s key rice-producing states.
The official said the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has lifted the ban on the export of Pusa 1121. Traders will be allowed to export the rice at a minimum export price (MEP), which is yet to be decided.
He said that export of this rice would be permitted only from the ports of Kolkata, Kandla, Kakinada, Navi Mumbai, Mundra and Pipavav.
The government March 31 this year banned the export of non-basmati rice, and increased MEP for basmati rice to $1,200 (Rs.54,000) per tonne to rein in inflation.
The government is considering lifting the ban completely by November this year in view of a good monsoon and a good paddy crop.
The agriculture ministry Friday said that the area under rice cultivation had gone up to nearly 36.1 million this year as against 34.5 million hectares Sep 4 last year.
India is likely to export a record quantity of basmati rice in the current fiscal. In July alone, traders got the official go-ahead for exporting 165,148 metric tonnes of basmati rice.
In July this year, Apeda issued 658 registration-cum-allocation certificates (RCAC) to traders to enable them to export basmati rice worth nearly $252 million (Rs.11.34 billion).
In 2007-08, the estimated production of rice stood at 96.43 million tonnes, wheat 78.40 million tonnes, coarse cereals 40.73 million tonnes, maize 19.31 million tonnes, pulses 15.11 million tonnes, and oilseeds 28.82 million tonnes.
The government has set a target of achieving an annual production growth rate of 3.7 percent for all food grains including rice.
In absolute terms, however, the government target is to achieve a production of 129 million tonnes of rice by 2011-12 since the domestic demand for rice by that time has been projected at 128 million tonnes.
Hence, according to official estimates, this level of production can be achieved only if the yield per hectare for rice goes up to an average 3,000 kilograms up from only 1,930 tonnes now.