Odisha focuses on aromatic non-basmati rice exports to help rice farmers

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The Odisha government aims to boost non-Basmati aromatic rice exports to open up new sources of income for rice farmers, an official statement said on Monday.

The government focuses on exports due to the paddy production potential of the state’s agro-climatic zones, the existence of enormous genetic diversity of aromatic rice germplasm, the traditional skills of farmers and the availability of port facilities, according to the statement.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra recently held a virtual session with stakeholders on the subject.

“As a rice-surplus state, Odisha has export availabilities,” said Asit Tripathy, Senior Adviser to the Chief Minister.

There are also rice aggregators in Odisha who can be trained and mobilized for export-oriented operations, Tripathy added.

On-the-ground workshops should be held with rice aggregators, food exporters and farmer organizations to instill community confidence in producing exportable quality paddy, Tripathy said.

A cluster approach should be adopted in promoting the cultivation of aromatic paddy varieties other than Basmati. Agro-climatic zones, more suitable for growing these varieties, need to be identified, he said.

“The government of Odisha is committed to improving farmers’ incomes by boosting exports of aromatic non-Basmati rice and the state will provide all possible support to this end,” Mohapatra said.

He requested the Ministry of Agriculture to assemble a resource team to visit Andhra Pradesh to familiarize themselves with the methods adopted for the export of non-Basmati aromatic varieties.

There were also discussions on requirements such as lab network in Odisha, rice warehouse at Paradip Port and sensitization of farmers on Indian and global food practices.

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