Owing to the ongoing farmers’ agitation, more than 4,000 export containers carrying Punjab-produced items, including foodgrain such as basmati and other perishable goods, are stranded at the dry ports across the state.
The rice exporters are worried they may not be able to keep the timely delivery commitment made to overseas clients. Unless the produce is delivered in time, exporters will not be able to secure repeat orders for rice this season, they say.
Jalandhar exporter Viney Gupta, who runs a government-recognised export house, says he ships rice to countries such as the UK, US, Australia, Canada, etc. “The procurement season is on but containers full of rice are stuck at dry ports. We can’t purchase more basmati from the farmer when the previous stock hasn’t been cleared (lifted for export). Farmers will be the ultimate sufferers if the containers remain stranded. We urge the government to declare rice an essential commodity and save both farmers and exporters,” says Gupta.
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