With an exclusive interaction with Riceoutlook magazine, Mr. Sushil Jain, Vice president of the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) and who was the part of the recent delegation to Iran, dwelled upon various aspects of Indian Rice Industry.
Trade delegation to Iran
A 20 member trade delegation led by Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) visited Iran from January 28-30, 2017. The delegation met various departments in the government of Iran including Food and Drug Organisation, Governmental Trading Corporation and Trade Promotion Organisation. Meetings were also held with Iran Chamber of Commerce and Rice Importers Association. The deliberations helped to dispel the negative publicity which appeared in some part of Iran media causing doubts about the health and safety of rice from India. The main purpose of the visit related to promotion of export of rice since Iran is one of the largest importers of Basmati rice from India. About 250 people participated in the sales promotion event held at Hotel Espinas Palace, Tehran. On the spot preparation of Iranian dishes prepared by Iranian Chefs with use of Indian rice was demonstrated and served as part of the lunch. Participants included about 30 media personnel, importers, inspection agencies and government officials from Food and Drug Organisation (FDO) etc. To supplement domestic production of about 2 million MT, Iran imports about 1 million MT of rice every year out of which about 7 lakh MT is exported from India.
As an outcome of the efforts, the resumption of issuance of permits for import of rice from India, and trade with Iran has resumed in Rupee as well as in Euro. The delegation had an interactive session with the Iran media to clarify all issues trending with regards to the Basmati trade. Dispelling of rumors about the food safety issues of Indian Rice Mills, being spread by some vested interest, were dealt with firmly. The interaction with all stake holders of Basmati rice trade in Iran would be the ongoing process to be under taken by APEDA in future as well. The delegation was further able to press home the point that Indian Rice mills were modernized with latest processing machinery and adhering to international safety and hygienic standards. Over 98% of the export firms that were put in for inspection have been approved.
International Basmati Prices
Amidst lots of noise that Iran has put a cap of $850 per tonne on Indian Basmati Rice there are no notification to that effect till date. Mr. Sushil Jain said the international prices are hovering around $1000 per tonne depending upon the Country it is being sold and the exporter selling it but it is well above the $950 mark at present. Output is less by 25% this season therefore the prices are expected to remain firm. The prices are decided by demand and supply and not by dictating. Mr. Jain said that India is well on its way to export over 4 Million Metric Tonnes worth of Basmati Rice Exports this year too. India is trying to add more countries on its list for exports.
Domestic Paddy Season
Mr. Jain elaborated that this season the production of paddy was approximately reduced by 25%. This happened because the farmer had cultivated less of basmati paddy due to lower price realisation in the last couple of years. But this season he was getting good prices of his produce which have been in the range of 2200-3100 per tonne. “At present we are procuring paddy even at Rs 3150 per tonne,” Mr. Jain said.
Lack of level-playing field
Welcoming the government’s move in implementing GST this year Mr. Jain remains apprehensive about the uniform taxation in the country. The different state taxes and cess thereof pose a serious competitive edge some states enjoy in comparison to others. Mr. Jain is of the opinion that it would be immensely helpful for the rice industry if the coming GST brings in uniformity in terms of level-playing field across the country. If the majority of good policies promised by the governments are implemented in letter and spirit then there is no reason why our rice industry can’t reach new heights.
Company Profile of Veer Overseas Ltd.
Veer Overseas Ltd. is one of the most reputed brands in the domain of Indian basmati rice. Established in 1970, Veer Overseas Ltd. has been a pioneering force in providing superlative quality grains to both Indian and International markets. Today, it is due to the sincere commitment towards quality and consumer satisfaction that the company stands at a staggering market valuation of 6 Billion INR. For more than five decades, Veer Overseas Ltd. has been providing a wide range of Indian basmati rice to more than 1 million households worldwide. The advanced rice processing facility of Veer Overseas Ltd. is aided with rigorous quality control and a highly qualified R&D team, to provide the purest form of basmati rice to its customers. With a hard working team of professionals, systematic supply chain management, and a strong distribution network, Veer Overseas has garnered a firm market standing globally in the specialty basmati rice category.
About Sushil Kumar jain
Mr. Sushil Kumar Jain – Managing Director of Veer Overseas Ltd., with his encyclopedic knowledge in the agricultural sector is expanding the footprints of his company. He has nourished the group with his involvement in key departments like procurement, administration and corporate affairs and with his ethical way of conducting business, has helped the company grow both vertically and horizontally. The current exports outcome is projected to be 25% over and above the last year export levels and the major export destinations include Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon and Europe.