Chhattisgarh Rice Export Hit By Flawed Policy Millers Demand Change
Export of rice has been hit in Chhattisgarh owing to a technical flaw in the exsiting rice milling policy.
At present, Chhattisgarh exports over one million tonnes of rice every year. The rice is exported mostly to the African countries where the demand of broken rice is more. The milling policy is restricting millers from showing the actual quantity of broken rice exported.
Under the existing policy, the turn-out ratio has been fixed at 67% for raw variety rice, while boiled rice stands at 68%. Chhattisgarh millers have been claiming that the policy was not practical as it has been designed after the quality of paddy production in Punjab and Haryana.
The millers said the quality does not remain common in other paddy growing states and the quantity of broken rice is more in Chhattisgarh. “Despite the proportion of demand for broken rice being more, we cannot show it in the books,” said Yogesh Agrawal, who is the President of Chhattisgarh rice millers’ association.
The association had been demanding to fix Chhattisgarh's turn-out ratio to 55% but no action was taken by the government. Unable to show records showing high demand of broken rice, millers are cutting down on exports, Agrawal said.
He added that the millers have been receiving calls from African traders, but were unable to committ to exporting broken rice. “The government must change its policy as the matter is related to earning foreign exchange,” Agrawal said.
Millers in Chhattisgarh had earlier called for an indefinite strike demanding changes in the milling policy and the turn-out ratio for broken rice. With thier issues remaining unaddressed, millers were compelled to call off the strike and lifting paddy for milling instead.
At present, the state government has procured around one million tonnes of paddy at minimum support price (MSP) in the current kharif season. This remained stocked as millers had not lifted it for milling so far.