In the just ended year of 2017 India’s export of rice has touched the record level of increasing by 22 per cent upto 123 lakh tonnes. More than the half of India from Chhattisgarh to whole South and with West Bengal the Eastern states are rice eaters.
Wheat is staple food of most of the North India. After Independence India imported entire food items wheat, rice, maize, milo etc. mainly from America, Canada, Australia. It was India’s highest import bill now it is petro crude oil.
Within the span of 70 years India made tremendous progress in agricultural production. Now almost all the crop are bumper.
In the 2017 rice export one reason was that in Bangla Desh paddy crops were destroyed in floods and its demand for import from India increased to meet the entire shortage. This year in 2018 the demand from Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka are likely to go up again and India’s rice export will increase further.
The export of non-basmati rice which are in high demand and consumption has gone up by 38 per cent. In India besides Basmati there are large number of other rice varieties are grown. Some of it are equal or more in quality and value of Basmati rice.
For many years most of the Basmati rice exported to oil rich Arab nations. Now it is grown so much that it is easily available in India for all section of society at reasonable and affordable prices.
The Chhattisgarh state has name and fame in the highest paddy cultivation and known as Rice bowl of India. After the bifurcation of Madhya Pradesh the Chhattisgarh region going out, there were no significant cultivation of paddy in Madhya Pradesh.
But now besides wheat the Madhya Pradesh has come forward in paddy production particularly in the Basmati variety. Now the state has sought the international branding of MP Basmati for export purposes.
Now there are indication for the export of pulses to boost the farm earnings of the cultivators. But India must formulate the policy of balancing the import and export. We have our own huge population to feed. To keep the price stable at a particular level the stocks should be available within India and a surplus be exported.
All developed country follow this policy. We are also exporting wheat, sugar, onions also. Sometimes there are other factors also. At time we were a need of dollars to finance other trading and to earn dollars we exported sugar to the America.
We are still importing 40 per cent of pulses and 60 per cent of edible oil for our own requirement. We are still very short in pulses and oil seed production.
To increase the income of farmers the Centre has asked the State to increase the export of foodgrains. The World Agro Export market is of 1600 billion dollars.
India is second in the foodgrains productions in the world but on 8th position in foodgrain exports. On edible oils and pulses our import reach has gone up from 15 billion to 25 billion dollar.