By Abhimanyu Sharma
In a move aimed at fulfilling the food security requirements of several countries, India has permitted limited exports of non-basmati white rice to Kenya, Egypt, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea and Comoros. Permission for exports has been granted via National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL), which allows the export of up to 1 lakh MT of rice to Kenya, 60,000 MT of rice to Egypt, 50,000 MT of rice to Madagascar, 20,000 MT of rice to Comoros and 10,000 MT of rice to Equatorial Guinea.
A one-time exemption has also been given to the Indian Rice Exporters Federation for the export of 20 MT of non-basmati rice to Nepal. The exemption has been granted as a donation to Nepal’s National Disaster Risk and Management Authority (NDRMA) to provide relief to earthquake victims in the Himalayan nation.
While non-government exports of wheat and non-basmati rice have continued to be banned since May 2022 and July 2023, respectively, government-to-government and conditional exports of foodgrain have been allowed in limited quantities to meet the food security requirements of several countries.
Last week, India allowed the export of wheat to Bhutan and the export of broken rice to Indonesia, Senegal, Mali and Gambia. In August this year too, India allowed the export of non-basmati rice to Singapore to meet the latter’s food security requirements.
Even for basmati rice, whose exports are permitted, the government has levied a MEP (minimum export price) of $1,200 per ton to discourage exports. Several rice exporters from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had urged the inter-ministerial committee to reduce the MEP for basmati rice to boost export competitiveness since they couldn’t win orders at global food fairs due to the higher MEP. Subsequently, in the last week of October, the government reduced the MEP of basmati rice to $950 per tonne.
This article has been republished from CNBC TV18.