Rice is the staple food for 65% of the population in India. It is the largest consumed calorie source among the food grains. With a per capita availability of 73.8 kg it meets 31% of the total calorie requirement of the population. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world next to China. The all India area, production, and yield of rice in the year 2001-02 was 44.62 million hectares, 93.08 million tons and 2086 kg/ ha respectively. In India paddy occupies the first place both in area and production. The crop occupies about 37 % of the total cropped area and 44% (2001-02 position) of total production of food grains in India. West Bengal is the leading producer of paddy in the country. It accounts for 16.39% of the total production, and the other leading states are Uttar Pradesh (13.38%), Andhra Pradesh (12.24%), Punjab (9.47%), Orissa (7.68%) and Tamil Nadu (7.38%); the remaining states account for 33.45% of the production. India is also one of the leading exporters of rice in the world market. India's export of rice stood at 23.89 lakh MT in 1997-98. The corresponding value of foreign exchange earned was to the tune of Rs. 3371.00 crore in 1997-98. Indian Basmati Rice has been a favorite among international rice buyers. Following liberalization of international trade after World Trade Agreement, Indian rice will become highly competitive and has been identified as one of the major commodities for export. This provides us with ample opportunity for development of rice based value-added products for earning more foreign exchange. Apart from rice milling, processing of rice bran for oil extraction is also an important agro processing activity for value addition, income and employment generation. Many of the rice processing units are of the traditional huller type and are inefficient. Modern rice mills are having high capacity and are capital intensive, although efficient. Small modern rice mills have been developed and are available in the market but the lack of information is a bottleneck in its adoption by the prospective entrepreneur. The present model will go a long way in bridging the information gap.
1.2 Description of Rice Milling Operations
Paddy in its raw form cannot be consumed by human beings. It needs to be suitably processed for obtaining rice. Rice milling is the process which helps in removal of hulls and barns from paddy grains to produce polished rice. Rice forms the basic primary processed product obtained from paddy and this is further processed for obtaining various secondary and tertiary products. The basic rice milling processes consist of:
1. Pre Cleaning: Removing all impurities and unfilled grains from paddy 2. De-stoning: Separating small stones from paddy
3. Parboiling (Optional): Helps in improving the nutritional quality by gelatinization of starch inside the rice grain. It improves the milling recovery percent during de-shelling and polishing / whitening operation 4. Husking: Removing husk from paddy 5. Husk Aspiration: Separating the husk from brown rice/ unhusked paddy 6. Paddy Separation: Separating the unhusked paddy from brown rice 7. Whitening: Removing all or part of the bran layer and germ from brown rice 8. Polishing: Improving the appearance of milled rice by removing the remaining bran particles and by polishing the exterior of the milled kernel 9. Length Grading: Separating small and large brokens from head rice 10. Blending: Mixing head rice with predetermined amount of brokens, as required by the customer 11. Weighing and bagging: Preparing the milled rice for transport to the customer The flow diagram of the various unit operations are as follows:
Figure 1: Block Diagram of Rice Processing
1.3 Status of Rice Milling Units in India
Rice milling is the oldest and the largest agro processing industry of the country. At present it has a turnover of more than...