A $10 billion bounty: Rice is set to give India rich dividends

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A $10 billion bounty: Rice is set to give India rich dividends

  • According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), India’s share in global rice exports in 2020 stood at 30.7%, followed by Thailand at 14.5% and Vietnam at 10.2%.

About Rice

Rice is a staple food for over half the world’s population.

  • It is also one of the most cultivated grains on the planet and among the most popular crops in many Asian countries.
  • All this is a blessing for India.
  • The country is endowed with the climatic conditions for the kharif crop, which has made it the biggest rice producer after China.
  • India emerged as a reliable agri exporter in meeting the world’s needs after Covid disrupted production and supply.
  • It set the stage for its excellent performance in rice also.

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Global Rice Statistics

The value of global rice exports was $26.8 billion in 2020.

  • According to Statista, India was the highest rice exporter, at 18.75 million tonnes, in 2021-22.
  • Thailand and Vietnam came second at 6.5 million tonnes.
  • Thailand is in a tight race with Vietnam to be the second-largest global rice exporter.
  • No country will challenge India’s pre-eminent status as the world’s largest rice exporter.
  • India is on course to represent around two-fifths of global rice exports in 2021.

India’s Rice export and Traditional markets

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been the traditional market for Indian rice.

  • Now several new destinations are also looking to import significant quantities from India.
  • In 2020-21, India shipped non-basmati rice to 9 markets where exports were either being done for the first time or the earlier shipments were negligible in volume.
  • These include Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Eswatini, Myanmar and Nicaragua.

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Way Ahead

India can perform much better in rice exports if incentives and subsidies are designed according to the feedback of the exporters, claim agri firms.

  • The 1% Duty Credit Scrip being given to rice exporters should be made 3-5%.
  • Only then can exporters mitigate their shipping losses.

Exam Track

Prelims Track

  • Rice - staple food of the world
  • India’s Rice Exports
  • Top export destinations

Mains Takeaway

Q. Growing rice exports to new markets could be the growth driver for this staple food, Analyse.