Over two dozen rice industry leaders, who attended a CII round-table on opportunities and challenges in the rice industry in India, have urged the government to monitor traceability in paddy to boost exports and check rejections of overseas consignments. They have sought stronger agricultural market boards, agencies and transparency in price recovery to ensure better returns to farmers. In this regard, Rajesh Srivastava, chairman of the CII Regional Committee on Food and Agriculture and chairman of Rabo Equity Advisors, said traceability, such as verifying the origin of a consignment and tracking it through to the market, would ensure that the rice industry met the quality standards followed by various countries. “This way, the right quality of rice can be exported and rejection can be prevented, thus curtailing any losses,” he said.
The industry leaders volunteered to implement several measures, such as driving research in seed development and other activities related to farm services, on their own. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority chairman Mr. Devender K Singh said the rice industry has a bright future, but it has to address the issue of quality regulations. “There is a need to focus on clusters for production of rice with farmers to address the concerns about pesticide usage and other requirements of the markets,” he said. The industry leaders asked the government to help the agencies monitor traceability in paddy right from the farm to market. They have also called on the government to ensure better returns for the paddy farmers through transparent price discovery.