For the first time, rice will be exported from Paradip port in Odisha. The first non-basmati rice consignment was officially flagged off from the Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT), Odisha, to Vietnam on Monday.

Sarala Foods, a rice miller and exporter, will ship out about 520 tonnes or 20 containers of non-basmati rice to Hai Phong Port, Vietnam, on Tuesday, followed by around 500 containers over the next three months.

“The rice exports through PICT would hugely boost India’s exports of non-basmati rice to South-East Asian countries while boosting income of at least two lakh farmers from Odisha and adjoining states,” M Angamuthu, Chairman, Apeda, said flagging off the shipment.

Paradip is the latest port to be opened up for rice shipments after the deep water port in Kakinada recently.

New avenue

Vinod Agrawal, Promoter-Founder of Sarala Foods, said rice exports from Paradip port in Odisha will open up a new avenue for millers in the region. The Paradip port is mainly used to import and export non-agri commodities such as iron ore, coal, chemicals and fertilisers among others.

Sarala Foods has taken up mills on lease in Odisha to process the rice for export market and also has been sourcing from other millers in the region. The opening up of Paradip port for agri-exports has generated lot of interest among the rice millers in the region, Agarwal said.

Transport costs

Until now, the rice sourced from Odisha used to be exported from the ports of Vizag and Kakinada among others. “The opening up of Paradip port will also reduce the logistics cost for exporters to some extent,” said BV Krishna Rao, President of The Rice Exporters Association.

Agarwal further said that there was good demand for Indian rice from Vietnam and the first consignment of 5 per cent broken white rice was price at over $400 per tonne.

India’s non-basmati rice exports surged to a record 11.09 million tonnes during April-February of financial 2020-21 as against 4.57 million tonnes in the same period last year. In dollar value terms, the non-basmati rice exports were up 122 per cent at $4.08 billion as compared to $1.83 billion in the same period last year.

Non-basmati rice exports to African and Asian countries are undertaken from various ports of India such as Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Mundra and Krishnapatnam. Paradip will soon emerge as one of the major rice-exporting port of the country, Angamuthu, said.