Centre urged to lift ban on export of Sona Masuri rice

By TheHindu on 30 Nov 2016 | read
    02
Somanna to lead team to New Delhi tomorrow Not profitable: Paddy growers in the State are in distress despite the Government announcing an additional support price for paddy. — File photo: G.R.N. Somashekar Not profitable: Paddy growers in the State are in distress despite the Government announcing an additional support price for paddy. — File photo: G.R.N. Somashekar

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to lift the ban on export of Sona Masuri variety of rice in the interests of farmers in the State.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, copies of which were released to the press here, the Chief Minister said the ban on such exports had affected the State farmers.

Pointing out that export of Basmati variety of rice being grown mainly in northern parts of the country was permitted, he expressed concern that the export of Sona Masuri rice grown in the southern parts was banned though it fell under the category of special rice.

Growers of Sona Masuri were not getting remunerative prices as this variety was not even included under the levy system, he said and demanded that it should be included on the export list.

In distress

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that the State paddy growers were in distress despite the Government's initiative to provide an additional support price of Rs. 100 a quintal of paddy, besides opening paddy procurement centres in the paddy-growing districts.

Mr. Yeddyurappa announced that he would send a delegation from the State, led by Food and Civil Supplies Minister V. Somanna, to Delhi on Tuesday.

Memorandum

The delegation from the State would submit a memorandum in this regard before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs commences its meeting.

The Chief minister announced this while responding to the demand by some farmers, who met him in Bangalore on Sunday and demanded that the ban on export of Sona Masuri rice be lifted.

Welcoming the State Government's decision to seek lifting of the ban on export of rice, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar told The Hindu that export of Sona Masuri rice would greatly benefit paddy farmers.

“If the rice export is allowed, farmers could get a minimum of Rs. 200 more than the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs. 1,130 (including Rs. 100 announced by the State Government) a quintal,” he added.

He said that farmers had started selling paddy between Rs. 850 and Rs. 900 a quintal in the open market this season as the Government was yet to establish a paddy procurement mechanism.

Karnataka, he pointed out, had a rice buffer of about 22.5 lakh tonnes, and a portion of this could be exported.

He said that rice export would stabilise the price, and allayed fears of spiralling price of rice in domestic retail market.

Rice output

“The State is expected to produce about 37.5 lakh tonnes of rice this season,” Mr. Chandrashekar added.

“There is a big mismatch in what the farmers are getting and the retail price at which the rice is sold in the market. This is due to the presence of middlemen, and farmers are not getting their due share,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, president of Bangalore Wholesale Foodgrains and Pulses Merchants' Association Ramesh Chandra Lahoti said the Government should monitor export of rice and it should not be allowed beyond the harvest season. “Rice export should be for a specific period. A blanket approval for export could escalate prices of rice in the domestic market,” he warned.

He said that unrestricted export of rice led to increase in prices of rice in the retail market for three years, following which the ban on exports was imposed.

“Sona Masuri grown in Karnataka is of high quality and is in demand in countries where expat Indians live,” Mr. Lahoti said.


  • Growers of Sona Masuri not getting remunerative prices
  • ‘Lifting of the ban on export will benefit farmers'

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