I am humbled by the support, togetherness, solidarity & maturity exhibited by Basmati rice industry coupled with a collective approach, in addressing un-reasonable Basmati rice export price barrier at 1,200 $/MT implying that Basmati rice priced below Rs 98/- per Kg could not be exported.AIREA, as you know, did extensive work for reduction of this price from 1,200 $/MT to 950 $/MT. We approached all concerned ministries and departments in Govt. of India and submitted logical representations packed with facts, figures & rationale; Interacted with minister and senior most officials in Govt. of India towards convincing them to consider revision and bring down high price barrier to a reasonable value. My team went regularly to various ministries & departments over last two months or so and I also spent days in travel to attend meetings related to the matter. As you are aware, effective 26 October 2023, APEDA started issuing RCAC for export of Basmati rice priced at 950 $/MT or more.
It was a difficult journey riddled with obstacles, we had to convince Govt. of India aboutnegligent impact of Basmati rice on consumer price index, its mere fraction of the large quantum of rice produced in India, existence of only a small & niche domestic market, its historical export dominance, reminder that Govt. of India itself worked very hard over the years promoting Indian Basmati rice globally, undue advantage being cornered by India’s competitor nations in global Basmati rice market, inability of our exporter to honour their pre-committed contractual obligations, severe financial stress faced by members etc.
India’s pride, backbone of our industry and my dear Basmati farmers not only understood our difficulties, they fully cooperated and stood by us; My deepest gratitude to them and the sympathies for having faced some difficult time. My belief is that everyone acknowledged Basmati industry’s financial and stock keeping constraints.
AIREA participation in Agro Food Iraq in September this year was very successful. I will urger my fellow members to consider further ways of business promotion, opening new markets and consolidation of prime markets and assure you that AIREA will engage with Govt. of India on these and try and take full support wherever applicable.
From October this year, Shri Alok Bisaria has joined as new Executive Director in AIREA. I will like to appreciate his sincerity and the efforts while working on lowering of Basmati export price issue. I congratulate him in joining AIREA and wish him good success.
I wish a ‘Happy Diwali’ to all AIREA members & their families, our business and trade associates, well-wishers in the Govt. and its organizations and the farmers of Basmati rice.
(Nathi Ram Gupta)