New Delhi, December 1 (Business Standard): China has agreed to import basmati rice from 14 companies in India, opening a new vista for the country’s rice exports, writes Sanjeeb Mukherjee.
The companies include LT Foods, maker of the Dawat brand, KRBL, maker of the India Gate brand, and Kohinoor Foods.
Five companies that wanted to export to China and were registered with the authority for phyto-sanitary certification, the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), did not qualify and have been told to improve their quality before applying afresh.
“There is no question of China allowing imports of non-basmati as it already has its own varieties and as far as allowing imports of basmati is concerned, yes they have agreed to inspect our facilities, but there is no commitment that it will materialize into firm export orders,” Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) told Business Standard.
The NPPO will assist its Chinese counterpart AQSIQ during the inspection from September 19-28 for pest risk analysis and plant quarantine purposes to ensure that the non-basmati consignments from India will be pest-free, safe and of good quality.
Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which is part of the Indian commerce ministry, is also involved in the process.
Indiahad earlier sent the information sought by AQSIQ regarding the quality protocol and standard operating procedures.
India accounts for over 70% of the world’s basmati rice production. However, it constitutes a small portion of the total rice produced in India. By volume, the share of basmati was around 6% in India’s total rice production in 2014-15. By volume, however, basmati rice export accounted for 57% of India’s total rice exports in 2014-15.
Studies show that basmati exports have increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% from INR 28.24 billion (US 408 million) in 2004-05 to INR 275.98 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) in 2014-15.
The proportion of basmati export in India’s total exports has increased from around 0.6% to around 1.3% during the last one decade.
While basmati is consumed across the globe, West Asian countries account for 75% of Indian basmati exports in 2014-15.
Within West Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two largest buyers, together accounting for over 50 per cent of basmati exports from India.
India’s goods trade deficit with China has surged from US$1.1 billion in 2003-04 to US$52.7 billion in 2015-16.