Problems & Prospects of Rice Export from India


As mentioned in the previous chapter that rice is exported from India to many countries in the world. India is facing stiff competition in the International markets from Thailand, Vietnam, U.S.A. and Pakistan. There was a considerable growth in the export of rice from India during the recent past, particularly in the case of non-basmati rice. There are several factors responsible for this growth. Infact exports depend not only on our ability to sell, but also on the willingness of importers to buy. Some times major markets/importers used to cut down their import due to their internal economic problems or good crop harvest and trade also cut down inventories and people reduce spending. All these measures reduce imports during that particular year. The prospects of export of basmati and non-basmati rice from India are discussed herewith :


Basmati Rice 

Awareness about basmati rice is spreading among different strata of the society in the country and abroad. Basmati rice is possessing unique grain, cooking, eating and digestive qualities. Hence, majority of people in the country and abroad have developed liking for basmati rice. Because of its superfine quality, basmati rice is most preferred and also meant for high premium value in the national and international markets. Thus, basmati rice is also stated to be 'Pearl' of rice.

There are other sources of aromatic short grain varieties with similar starch content characteristics, grown different states of the country. Katarni rice is grown in Bihar, Randhunipagal and Bhadshahbhog are grown in West Bengal, each one of these varieties is fetching higher price in the local markets. These varieties are having localized preference and their demand preference could not spread widely elsewhere. Even some of these are possessing more aroma than the typical basmati varieties. Infact, the harmonious combination of various factors deciding the appearance, taste, keeping quality texture of cooked rice etc and makes the particular varieties unique/popular in the domestic and international markets.

As mentioned above basmati rice is the most sought after rice in the domestic and international markets and it also fetches high premium. Commercially Taraori Basmati, Basmati-370 and Basmati Type-3 are very popular. All these three varieties are similar in starch characteristics but based on grain dimensions Taraori Basmati is preferred much over Basamati-370. Similarly Basamati-370 is preferred more over Basmati Type-3. Pusa Basmati-1 has been well accepted by the trade and there is good prospects for export. Infact, Pusa Basmati-1 is at present most profitable variety in rice, in spite of being highly susceptible to major insects, pests and diseases. Under proper crop management condition farmers can get 4-6 tonnes paddy yield per hectare. This variety is much favoured by the farmers, traders and consumers. During cooking it has got linear expansion. It is also easily digestible. Hence, this variety is much preferred by the consumers in India and abroad.

With the every coming year, domestic as well as international demand for basmati rice is increasing. If desired aroma in basmati rice along with other quality characteristics are maintained, these measures may help to boost the export of basmati rice from India.


Non-Basmati Rice 

Non-basmati rice exports have also suffered much due to the competition from exporting countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan because of their low cost of production. In the recent past export of non-basmati rice was fluctuating year after year due to various reasons. The export of non-basmati rice was on its peak during 1995-96 it came down during 1998-99 due to many reasons. Sometime, export is also affected if good harvest is there in the importing countries, they reduce their import accordingly. If rice exporters made their sincere efforts with Govt. supporting export policy, non-basmati rice export is expected to increase in future.