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Nepali gov't opens rice export with quantitative restriction

07-25-2012 13:11 BJT

KATHMANDU, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Nepali government has lifted a four-year ban on rice export, paving the way for the country to export up to 10,000 tons of rice from the two customs points -- Rasuwa and Tatopani -- to China, local media reported Wednesday.

Initially, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) had proposed that export be opened for 50,000 tons of rice from those customs this year. But the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) lowered the export ceiling when it issued the final decision.

"Traders can now export 5,000 tons of rice from each of the two customs points," Commerce Secretary Lal Mani Joshi told Republica daily. "Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai declined to approve export of 50,000 tons of rice, citing the rising price of food in the domestic market."

Officials said the amount of export opened was too little for farmers to enjoy better price for their produces.

According to MoAD, the country enjoyed food surplus of 443,000 tons in the fiscal year 2010/11. It has forecast a food surplus of about 800,000 tons for previous fiscal year 2011/12, of which 300, 000 tons will comprise rice.

The preliminary estimation of crops production of MoAD shows that paddy reached 9.45 million tons in the fiscal year 2011/12, up 9.8 percent compared to the previous fiscal year and 21.8 percent compared to the fiscal year 2009/10.

"It might lead to unintended consequences," Joshi said. " Opening export of rice in a large quantity might result in shortage of food in the domestic market."

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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