KATHMANDU, Aug 25: The government has permitted 65 firms to export 10,000 tons of rice to China.
It decided to open rice exports to China keeping in view the impressive surplus of cereal crops in Nepal and growing demand for rice in the northern neighbor.
The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoSM) recently granted permission to those firms. They will export rice to China through Tatopani and Rasuwa customs.
“We granted permission to exporters on first-come, first-serve basis, laying down condition that export must be completed within six months,” Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of DoSM said. “A total of 31 firms have been permitted to export 5,090 tons of rice through Tatopani customs, and another 34 have been permitted to export 4910 through Rasuwa customs.”
A total of 65 firms had registered expression of interest to export rice to China´s Tibet Autonomous Region through Rasuwa and Tatopani after the government lifted nearly four-year ban on rice exports a few months back.
The government had banned rice exports at the height of global food crisis 2008 after India imposed restriction on exports of non-Basmati rice.
The Ministry of Agricultural Development has estimated food surplus of about 880,000 tons, including 300,000 tons of rice, in 2011/12. The government had reported food surplus of 443,000 tons in 2010/11.
Though the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) had recommended the government to allow exports of up to 50,000 tons of rice, the cabinet had decided to limit exports at 10,000 tons.