India,the world’s largest rice exporter is first time in the 25 years is going to import over 100,000 tonnes of rice from neighboring country Myanmar to feed its hilly and north-eastern areas where the railway tracks become overhaul.

For the import there will be tender from Myanmar side for coming next seven months of 10,000-30,000 tonnes. and this imported rice would be distributed to the northeastern areas through Bangladesh’s Ashuganj port, the government officials said.

The imports and the distribution arrangement underscore the extensive challenges India faces as it tries to become a regional agricultural powerhouse. But the quantities are too small to shake up the rice market.

India owned world’s largest rice exporter crown in 2012 and since then its overseas sale is nearly 10 million tonnes annually.

India will look into the rail infrastructure and will start broadening the railway gauge in October which is likely to be completed in April 2015.

Indian states like  Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, and parts of Assam state receives their grain supplies from northern India via railways.They have a consumption of 80,000 tonnes a month.

Choosing Bangladesh as the site for the supply of rice to these state is a good option as it is  only a few hundred kilometers from the cut-off locations, and is expected to be cost effective and less susceptible to delays than hauling it by truck across more than 1,000 km (621 miles) of mountain roads from traditional supply centers. 

Earlier this month, state-run trader MMTC Ltd floated a tender to import 10,000 tonnes of rice for delivery in Mizoram. Separately, State Trading Corp has floated a similar tender to import 25 per cent broken rice for delivery in Manipur.

Another government official said that these tenders are important for us and there response are yet to receive but there may be a need to import more rice as the railways will be constructed after April 2015.

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