Agri Business

Rice exports from Kakinada port slow down

Ch. R. S. Sarma Kakinada | Updated on March 12, 2018

Rice exports from the Kakinada anchorage (old) port have been sluggish of late. At present there are only four or five ships being loaded with rice at the anchorage, bound for West African and South African countries.

Rice and maize exports, the first in particular, are the mainstay of the port. After curbs on non-basmati rice exports were lifted by the Centre, there was a flurry of activity at the old port and nearly four million tonnes of rice was exported through the port, mainly to Africa.

There were 20 or more ships waiting at the anchorage all the time and the workers at the old port got plenty of work. The steel barge owners, the rice exporters and others were also happy. But again, of late, there has been a lull in rice exports.

“Pakistan, Vietnam and Myanmar are supplying cheaper rice to the African nations and India is not able to compete with them as our minimum support price for raw rice is high. At present, hardly four ships carry boiled rice to West African destinations,” says Vinod Agarwal, the President of the AP Rice Exporters’ Association.

He said the infrastructure at the old port — the approach road, the wharf at Jagannadhapuram, the jetties and other facilities — are in poor shape and very little has been done to improve them in spite of repeated representations to the authorities. “Even if there is an improvement in the market situation and we get orders, it is difficult to maintain a steady flow exports from the port in the present condition. It is high time the authorities acted swiftly to improve the port,” he said.

>sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 22, 2013

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