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Govt allows 2.4 lakh tonne non-basmati rice export to five African countries

New Delhi: The government on Thursday allowed export of essential food items to five African nations despite the ban on export of key grains such as rice, wheat and its products including atta (wheat flour). 

The government allowed export of 2.40 lakh tonne non-basmati rice to Comoros, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and Egypt through National Cooperatives Exports Limited (NCEL), a government notification issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said.

According to the order, Comoros will get 20,000 tonne of non-basmati rice, Madagascar (50,000 tonne), Equatorial Guinea (10,000 tonne), Kenya (1 lakh tonne) and Egypt (60,000 tonne).

India has been supplying rice to its strategic partners in Asia and African countries since the export ban on broken variety and non-basmati white rice in September 2022 and July 2023 to keep inflation in check.

The exports are being conducted at a government-to-government level, facilitated by the NCEL, an entity established under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002, for exporting agricultural produce and allied items.

The government also cleared exports of 2.77 million tonne of non-basmati white rice to 14 key Asian and African nations, including Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

In addition to white rice, India allowed export of 14,184 tonne wheat, 5326 tonne atta, 15,226 tonne maida and 48,804 tonne broken rice to Bhutan on 30 November. Export of broken rice was also allowed to Mali (1 lakh tonne), Senegal (5 lakh tonne), Gambia (50,000 tonne ), and Indonesia (2 lakh tonne).

All India Rice Exporters Association of India declined a comment on the development.

India imposed a ban on wheat and its products such as atta, suji (semolina) and maida in May 2022 and on broken rice in September last year. To check high inflationary pressure primarily due to skyrocketing food prices, the government in July banned exports of non-basmati white rice, imposed a 20% export duty on parboiled rice and set a minimum export price of $1,200 per tonne for basmati rice in August this year. 

The ban on rice was necessitated after the reduction of public stock in the central pool resulting in a steep rise in the prices of key staple food cereal. However, after the ban, rice prices shot up significantly in the global market, with India’s strategic partners seeking supply of the food grain in tranches.

 

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Published: 07 Dec 2023, 06:00 PM IST

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