Centre’s rice supply to make ethanol reaches record high as rice crisis loomstext_fields
New Delhi: As a food crisis is in the making globally, India’s monthly supply of rice to make fuel ethanol reached a record high in June.
A whopping 2.77 lakh metric tonnes of rice was supplied in the past month to distilleries taking the total supply to 24 lakh tonnes in less than three years, The Indian Express reported, citing data of the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
A couple of weeks ago, India banned export of rice other than Basmati to the international market, spiking a rice crisis in the US where Indian communities mobbed stores.
The other day IMF appealed to India to reconsider its ban on non-basmati rice over fears of global food crisis.
India usually supplies rice to more than 100 countries and any ban could mean raging hunger in most countries where rice is a staple.
More important, increased rice supply for ethanol making comes when states including Karnataka requested the Centre for rice under the Open Market Sale Scheme-Domestic (OMSS).
The data further showcased that the total rice supplied in June to make ethanol was ‘216% more than 87,778.81 MT in the same month of 2022.’
The government has started supplying surplus stock from central pool of FCI to make ethanol since Ethanol Supply Year 2020-21.
The rice supply for ethanol could go up further as the government is set to allot 32 lakh MT rice in the Ethanol Supply Year 2022-23.
The report pointed out that 13 lakh MT of the total intended supply has been shipped until June.
There remains 19 lakh MT of the allotment, which is more likely to be supplied by November this year, according to the report.
The Centre decided to supply FCI rice to distilleries for ethanol making at the rate of Rs 2,250 per quintal in March 2020.
However, the price was later reduced to Rs 2,000 in December 2020 and at which the supply has been taking place since.
The price set for supply, according to the report, is much lower than the cost it takes for FCI to procure and store it.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti gave a detailed data to Lok Sabah on the total rice supply to ethanol making including figures described above.