Agri Business

Telangana paddy output up four times in 5 years

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 15, 2021

But, exports less than 1% on high costs, pesticide residues: FTCCI

After becoming a State, Telangana’s paddy production has gone up significantly as it improved irrigation facilities.

Paddy production in the State increased by four times to 1.3 crore tonnes in 2019-20 from 29 lakh tonnes recorded in 2015-16, emerging as a key rice producing State in the country.

The total paddy production in 2020-21 is expected to grow to 2.30 crore tonnes (from 1.30 crore tonnes in 2019-20) as the area under the crop witnessed a huge growth.

However, this has not reflected in export numbers. The exports, however, continued to remain less than 0.5 per cent of India’s total rice exports.

Although Telangana ranks eighth in non-basmati rice production with a share of 5.54 per cent in total production, its share in rice exports is negligible at 0.21 per cent in 2019-20. Andhra Pradesh has a share of over 33 per cent in the rice exports.

The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) said that the land-locked State is beset a host of issues that make it less competitive and a less attractive source for exports. Price distortions caused by the implementation of high transportation costs, pesticide residues in some parts, lack of infrastructure and absence of focus on varieties that sell well are some of the reasons cited for its poor show on export front.

 

In a detailed report on how Telangana can tap the huge potential in rice exports, FTCCI said the rice procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) has made it costlier to buy rice when compared to Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkand and West Bengal.

The State also faces the challenge of high transportation costs and pesticide residues in some parts. Stating that the pesticide residues makes the produce unwanted in international markets, the report cited an example of multinational companies stopping sourcing of rice after finding arsenic residues in the samples.

The report also highlighted the shift of focus to short-grain varieties, while the international market prefer long-grain varieties.

Export zones

The chambers asked the government to consider developing exclusive paddy export zones by promoting specific varieties of non-basmati and basmati varieties of paddy that have high demand abroad.

“We need to help the farmers by providing them with better inputs that suit the identified varieties,” it said. While asking the State government to work on developing a brand for Telangana’s rice, FTCCI said the State can tap the opportunity in countries like Egypt, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The chambers urged the government to provide subsidies to the rice exporters to make them competitive on par with their peers in other States.

Published on January 15, 2021

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