'Rice'ing fortunes

PREDICTIONS of the Union ministry of agriculture foresee India as the third biggest rice exporter in the world in the next financial year after the us and Thailand. It is estimated that rice exports will cross the two million tormes mark by March next year. Said Balrarn Jakhar, minister for agriculture, "We have ensured abundant availability to domestic consumers, and now our goal is to boost foreign exchange earnings and ensure remunerative prices for farmers."

Indian rice delights many a palate in Bangladesh, Middle East, Europe and Africa. Eight consecutive good up soons and the liberalisation of exp meant that India exported 900, tonnes of all varieties of rice in 1994 Farmers are growing crops specific for export and are also using tech" to increase the rice yield accorditq agricultural ministry officials.

India's rice glut has come at opportune moment with the inten tional market in a fix with floods Thailand leading to lower rice avz bility. Vietnam is seeking to lower exports which means that India can in its place. Overall, India has show spectacular growth in the agriculture sector with exports increasing to Rs 200 billion in 1994-95 front Rs 47 billion 1990-91.