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Non-basmati rice exports to rise as Russia lifts import ban

NEW DELHI: India expects significant rise in export of non-basmati rice following Russia's lifting the ban on the commodity, a top government official said today. 

Russia has lifted ban on import of non-basamti rice from India and we hope to make significant gains in the Russian market. They have also removed ban on oilseeds," Commerce and Industry Secretary S R Rao told reporters here. 

The Russian Federation had imposed the ban eight months ago due to the presence of
khapra beetles pest in rice and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts. 

Russia decided to remove restrictions after its officials visited processing units in India in June. The delegation was convinced about the safety measures that were put in place here while processing these food items, the official said. 

The resumption of trade comes as the country seeks to boost exports to address the current account deficit. 

India is the world's second largest rice producer, with an output of 104.40 million tonnes in the 2012-13 crop year (July-June). The country exports significant quantity of basmati and non-basmati rice in the overseas markets. 

International Grain Council (IGC) has recently projected that the country may export 8.5 million tonnes in 2013-14, down by almost 10 per cent from 9.4 million tonnes shipments made in the last year.