A group of rice exporters from Telangana has requested the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to reclassify and lift the ban on the export of non-basmati rice. They assure that there are enough stocks of non-basmati rice in the USA market, so Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the USA do not need to worry about availability. Kiran Kumar Pola, Director of Deccan Grainz India, a leading rice exporter, stated that there are currently 12,000 tonnes of rice stocks available in the USA, with another 18,000 tonnes already transported before the ban was announced. This stock is expected to last for the next six months.
The exporters have requested APEDA’s support in addressing the inadequate rice classification and lifting the ban on rice exports. They propose allowing exports of preferred rice varieties in small packing with a minimum export price, and implementing a more accurate classification system to capitalize on the diverse Indian rice varieties and strengthen India’s position in the global market.
Pola expressed confidence that the Central government will soon make an appropriate decision considering the needs of the Indian Diaspora. Currently, the price of a 9.07 kg rice bag has doubled, with some places seeing prices as high as USD 50. On average, 6,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice is exported from India to the USA every month, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh accounting for 4,000 tonnes.
Pola urged the Union government to exempt Sona Masoori rice, which is widely consumed by Indians in the USA, from the ban. He also suggested that the Central government should create a separate classification for non-basmati rice to benefit the agriculture sector and consumers. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of monitoring rice varieties, their demand in domestic and international markets, and the challenges faced by farmers and consumers in order to ensure better pricing, distribution, and export opportunities.