7 Reasons Why Bangladesh Should Import Rice from Odisha and West Bengal, India

Bangladesh had a shortage of rice leading to an arrangement with India for rice imports. This arrangement brings great benefits to the country, as India is one of the leading rice exporters. From India’s close proximity to premium quality rice, Bangladesh has good reasons to import.

Last year, India and Bangladesh entered in a "first of its kind arrangement". India began exporting rice to meet Bangladesh's domestic demand. According to the arrangement, Bangladesh will receive about six lakh tons of rice from India to meet its demand as well as create a buffer stock.  India reportedly authorized an agri-cooperative Nafed so that Bangladesh can import double boiled rice.

Bangladesh had a shortage of about 1.5 million tons of rice in 2017. The country had crop losses last year because of the heavy flooding that happened during the monsoon months. To deal with this problem, the Bangladesh government discussed the matter of rice exports when Sushma Swaraj, India's external affairs minister, visited the country.

If you are looking for motives why to import rice from Odisha and West Bengal, here are seven reasons why Bangladesh imports rice from Odisha:

  1. Similar food habits with Bangladesh
  2. Close Proximity to Bangladesh
  3. No toxicity to Odisha rice
  4. Medicinal benefits of rice
  5. Nutritional benefits of rice
  6. Abundant supply as Odisha is surplus in rice
  7. Easier to import as the distance is very less

Odisha, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh Have Similar Food Habits with Bangladesh

The Nafed will source parboiled rice from Odisha, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh. One reason why Nafed will be exporting rice from these regions is that they have similar food habits as Bangladesh. At first, the immediate agreement was 1 lakh ton of rice with Dhaka placing further orders shortly. India is one of the biggest exporters of parboiled rice with over 10-tonne annual shipment for the last years.

India Have Close Proximity to Bangladesh

Importing rice from India is ideal to Bangladesh because of the two countries close proximity to each other. According to trade sources, India is one of the well-placed countries to supply rice to its neighboring countries. With Bangladesh to import their rice from Odisha, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh, shipments can arrive at Bangladesh 3-4 days by sea or a day by land.

Odisha Rice Shows No Toxicity, According to US Naval Research Laboratory

The US Naval Research Laboratory conducted a research on Odisha rice back in 2016 showing their rice have no traces of arsenic content. While West Bengal has faint traces of arsenic, the lab found no toxicity in Odisha rice. In fact, the rice husks of Odisha rice, which are efficient concentrator of soil minerals. Because of this, there are minerals in the husks but not with the rice grain.

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