Apeda plans retail push for basmati in overseas markets
BENGALURU: In a bid to promote the basmati exports in retail packs with Indian brands, the Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) plans to launch a campaign in key markets such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
At present, a major chunk of the exports are shipped in bulk form and sold under private labels owned by the importers.
Apeda has invited expression of interest from agencies to launch this promotional strategy that is expected to boost the shipments of the basmati rice.
Basmati holds a major place in Apeda’s export basket accounting for close to a fourth of the total shipments in value terms.
“We are working with the All India Rice Exporters Association on this proposed campaign, which may be launched early next year,” said AK Gupta, Advisor, Apeda.
“Initially, the campaign is proposed to be undertaken in Saudi Arabia and Iran, which account for over 50 per cent of the total exports,” Gupta said.
The initiative is aimed at creating better consumer awareness and education about the Indian basmati rice, while helping the exporters realise better value for their produce, Gupta added.
Further, he said that Apeda, as part of the proposed campaign, would be working with only those brands that already have a presence in these overseas markets.
Basmati rice exports have seen a major increase over the past few years from about seven lakh tonnes in 2000 to over 37 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2015. In the current financial year for the April-August period, basmati shipments have seen an increase of 17 per cent in volume terms at 16.78 lt against 14.35 lt in the corresponding period last year, according to Apeda data.
However, in rupee value terms, the basmati shipments have declined 18 per cent to ?9,940 crore for the April-August period against ?12,180 crore in corresponding last year, mainly due to lower prices.
The shipments in dollar terms have dropped 23 per cent for the period at $1.559 billion ($2.031 billion).
Meanwhile, Iran is yet to resume the imports of Indian basmati, which it had banned mid-November last year to protect the interests of local growers on higher domestic output and stocks.
“We expect that Iran will resume imports in the next couple of months,” Gupta added.
Iran imported about 9.35 lt of basmati in 2014-15, accounting for about a fourth of the Indian shipments.
In fact, the shipments to Iran declined by 35 per cent in 2014-15 over previous year’s 14.40 lt, largely due to the curbs imposed by the largest buyer of the Indian basmati.
Source : thehindubusinessline.com