Year-by-year, the value of basmati rice being exported globally is declining. According to statistics in 2019, the rice exports totalled was 2.19 billion dollars, which was almost 5% less than the value exported in 2015. Being considered one of the major cash crops, basmati rice stays in demand constantly and is traded worldwide. Asian countries are among the biggest basmati rice exporters, which contribute about 75% of the rice export shipments in the world.
It was the Chinese who started planting and cultivating rice around 3000-4000 years ago. The trend of planting rice was gradually spread to the western and southern east Asian countries, which have more fertile soil for rice production. Some of the countries are highly blessed with rice-producing prerequisites including, India, China, Vietnam, and Pakistan. Let’s shed light on the top basmati rice exporters in the world:
Top Exporters & Producers of Basmati Rice:
In the world’s basmati rice production statistics, India’s contribution is about 70% amidst the AY 2019-2020. The global market leader is also one of the top and biggest basmati rice exporters worldwide. India’s primary export destination is Iran, followed by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait.
The rice cultivation in India is distinguished among the coastal strips, deltas, low-hills, and foot-hills of the Himalayas. Different regions use different methods to cultivate and harvest rice. Some follow traditional methods, and others find the novel one easier. Being the staple food of India’s southern and eastern part, Rice exports were around 4 lakh MT in 2019-20. Thousands of hectares of land in India is used for the cultivation of Basmati rice. These cover the largest areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi.
Apart from basmati rice, India is an exporter of non-basmati rice also, whose primary destination countries include Senegal, Nepal, Guinea, Benin, and Bangladesh.
Read More: Top 7 Rice Producing States Of India
Pakistan is a country that is known for basmati rice production and export worldwide. The basmati rice is grown in certain parts of Punjab. However, the foremost cultivators of basmati rice in Pakistan include Hafizabad, Narowal, Gujrat, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Chiniot, Gujranwala, and Mandi Bahaudin.
Numerous varieties of basmati rice have been grown in some of Pakistan for ages, which are traded internationally. In recent years, the exports of Pakistani basmati rice have declined in destination countries, such as Iraq, KSA, Yemen, and Belgium. On the other hand, there has been a dramatic hike in the export of basmati rice from Pakistan to destinations, including Kenya, Canada, Onam, and Germany.
Other Basmati Rice Producers:
Indonesia stands at the third position after India and China in the top rice-growing countries. Some parts of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi are among the largest producers provinces in Indonesia. The estimated production of basmati rice in these areas accounts for 8.2 tonnes per hectare. The Indonesia Government pays particular attention to fulfill rice self-consumption sufficiency. According to a recent survey, Indonesia is on the verge of completing the level of self-sufficiency. We might see its name in the exporters’ list of basmati rice soon.
There are primarily two regions in Nepal where basmati rice is cultivated, Kathmandu Valley and Terai. Some varieties of Nepali Basmati rice are banned from exporting to other countries. According to statistics, Farmers in Nepal harvested around 5.5 million tonnes of paddy in 2019, estimated as the second largest in history. Basmati rice is not grown in bulk in Nepal. They import fine rice from India for fulfilling their needs.
Though Sri Lanka is known for growing Red Rice, a few provinces do grow Basmati rice as well. In the tropical wet zones areas, red basmati rice is cultivated in small amounts in Sri Lanka. They do not contribute to the exports and are small producers of basmati rice.
Only India and Pakistan are the countries that hold a monopoly in the global market and are the biggest basmati rice exporters. The rest of the countries produce basmati rice for its consumption only.