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Despite COVID-19 lockdown Basmati rice sees a rise in exports

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

While the COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on the economy, several sectors have been affected and exports have been one of them with several products seeing a massive decline. However, some sectors have not only survived the pandemic but have gone and increased their exports.

According to recent reports, the export of Basmati rice has increased by more than 40000 tonnes. The domestic demand for basmati has also increased. The total exports of Basmati Rice for the 2019-20 year were 44.54 lakh tonnes a 0.9% increase from the previous year when the exports were at 44.14 lakh tonnes. The director of Basmati Export Development Foundation AK Gupta said that despite the logistical problem in the lockdown we have managed to increase the exports and it is a good sign for the agriculture sector. He said that the reason for it is that during a crisis people prefer to stock foodgrains which leads to an increase in demand.

Countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia have imported large quantities of Basmati rice which has helped in the increase in exports while the fall in the value of Rupee has also helped.

The price of Basmati rice has also increased with several varieties of rice like 1121 sell being sold for Rs. 400 more per quintal and Basmati 1121 steam being sold for Rs.7000 per quintal from the pre-pandemic price of Rs. 6300. The export price of rice was $760 per tonne but now has increased to $775.

This is a golden opportunity for India to increase its agricultural muscle in the world. The government has also announced major reforms that allow more freedom to the farmers concerning selling and buying of goods and with the efforts of all the stakeholders we can expect a revival in the fortunes of the farmers.

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