Fortified rice producers search premium over fastened worth

Fortified rice producers search premium over fastened worth

Tribune Information Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, November 24

Rice milling for 180 lakh metric tonnes of paddy might be delayed this yr if the federal government fails to behave towards some producers of fortified rice kernels (FRKs), who’re demanding a premium for supplying the rice to millers.

What’s fortification of rice

  • Fortification is the method of including fortified rice kernels (FRKs), containing FSSAI-prescribed micronutrients (iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) to regular rice (customized milled rice) within the ratio of 1:100 (mixing 1 kg of FRK with 100 kg customized milled rice)
  • The FSSAI defines fortification as ‘intentionally growing the content material of important micronutrients in a meals in order to enhance the dietary high quality of the meals and to supply public well being profit with minimal danger to well being’
  • As per the Authorities of India coverage, fortified rice is to be provided for public distribution and likewise for varied different welfare schemes to fight a number of malnutrition-related ailments

Govt warns of motion

All sale of FRKs needs to be performed by means of the Anaj Kharid portal, and on the costs already fastened. If any producer is discovered searching for the next worth, we will provoke motion towards him, together with cancelling his licence and blacklisting his agency. — Rahul Bhandari, Principal Secy, Meals and Provide division

Some suppliers of the FRKs have began demanding Rs 8-10 per kg (Rs 800-1000 per quintal) over and above the value of Rs 46.58 per kg fastened by the state authorities for this yr. The FRKs needs to be provided to the rice millers by the top of this week, as milling of rice is to start out from December 1.

There are greater than 128 suppliers of FRKs within the state, and as many as 338 (together with suppliers outdoors the state) had participated within the tender course of to produce FRKs in Punjab. As per guidelines, 1 kg of FRKs is to be combined in 100 kg of customized milled rice.

“For the previous couple of days, some FRKs producers both immediately, or by means of their brokers, have been approaching rice millers asking them to pay a premium if they need the FRKs on time. Because the Centre won’t settle for rice with out fortification, these producers try to browbeat millers,” Ranjit Singh Josan, a rice miller in Ferozepur stated.

He stated the matter had been raised by the Punjab Rice Millers Affiliation with high officers in state Meals and Provide Division, as non availability/delay in provide of FRKs may in flip delay the customized milling of rice. Apparently, the division has additionally issued commercials, warning the FRKs producers towards promoting at a premium.

One other rice miller in Sangrur stated he, too, had been approached by a dealer. “In 2020, FRKs was provided at Rs 71 per kg, whereas final yr it was provided at Rs 55 per kg. This yr, one of many producers quoted a a lot lower cost within the bidding for the tender, and all others accepted the value of Rs 46.58 per kg. The Centre pays the state authorities a worth of Rs 73 per kg to purchase FRKs. Because the variety of producers of the FRKs has elevated, a contest has began between them to produce FRKs at lower cost. However they’re now making an attempt to extract more cash from the rice millers,” he stated.

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