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Space crunch: Rice millers stare at losses

Space crunch: Rice millers stare at losses

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Vijay C Roy

Chandigarh, June 9

As Food Corporation of India (FCI) is battling for storage space, rice millers in Punjab are fearing huge losses, especially due the lack of space for custom-milled rice (CMR). The CMR is paddy procured by government agencies and given to the mills for processing and once it is processed it is given to the FCI either for storage or for distribution via the public distribution system.

Quality takes a hit

  • The ideal moisture content in paddy is around 14 per cent, but now it has come down to around 10 per cent due to sweltering heat. The dip in moisture will cause losses to millers
  • The millers incur losses because they have been asked to transport the milled rice to FCI godowns in Haryana due to space crisis in Punjab and they will have to bear the transportation cost

“We will incur huge losses owing to deterioration in the quality of rice in milling process. The ideal moisture content in paddy is around 14 per cent, but now it has come down to around 10 per cent due to scorching heat. So, we are going to incur losses on account of yield i.e the ‘driage’ loss, which leads to loss of weight, extended labour cost as ideally milling season is over by March 31 and also transportation cost as we have been asked to transport our milled rice to FCI godowns in Haryana or some of the godowns in Punjab where the space is vacant. As FCI is not going to bear the transportation cost, the losses will mount further on millers,” said Tarsem Saini, president, Punjab Rice Millers Association.

Millers have already handed over 85 per cent of the processed rice to the FCI.

According to millers, remaining 25 lakh tonnes of rice lying on their mill premises was yet to be handed over to the FCI. Of the total, only 50 per cent of the produce is processed as the FCI doesn’t have storage space.

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