A team of Chinese officials will visit India by the end of this month to inspect and certify some non-basmati rice mills here, allowing them to export to China, a senior government official said. A major rice market in the world, China currently allows import of basmati rice from India. The two countries last week signed an agreement under which China has agreed to import from India non-basmati rice as well.
Under the pact, the shipments will have to comply with the Chinese plant quarantine laws and regulations. India will also have to ensure that processing and storage houses of the rice to be exported to China is free from pests — Trogoderma granarium and Prostephanus truncatus — and live insects. “A Chinese team would visit India to inspect some of our non-basmati rice mills with a view to listing out those Indian rice mills which will be permitted to export to China,” the official said.
The official hoped that soon after this process, rice mills would be able to start shipments to China. The exported rice will have to be free of soil, seeds of weeds, paddy hull, loose bran and any of plant debris of rice. Non-basmati rice exports from the country during April-February 2018 stood at USD 3.26 billion as against USD 2.53 billion in 2016-17.
The signing of the protocol between the two countries assumes significance as India has time and again asked for greater market access for its agri commodities in the Chinese market. India wants to increase exports to China with a view to bridging the ballooning trade deficit, which has increased to USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18 from USD 51.08 billion in the previous fiscal.