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,... [continues]
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