As many as five more rice mills have been cleared for exporting non-basmati rice from India to China, taking the total figure to 24 rice mills, said an official statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Thursday.
In May this year, officials from China had inspected rice mills that were capable of exporting non-basmati rice to China, and 19 rice mills and processing units were registered for export to China.
Only last month the first consignment of non-basmati rice of 100 tons was shipped to China from India's Nagpur city in southwestern state of Maharashtra.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China in June this year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between China and India on phytosanitary requirements for exporting rice from India to China. Subsequently, the 2006 protocol on phytosanitary requirements was amended to include the export of non-basmati varieties of rice from India.
According to the ministry's official statement, there is a potential for India to export one metric tons of rice to China in a few years, as China is the world's largest importer of rice buying more than five metric tons of rice in a year.
India's total rice exports increased from 10.8 metric tons a year earlier, to 12.7 metric tons last fiscal. This allowed India to retain the top slot in global trade of the commodity.
Recently, China had lifted the ban on import of rapeseed meal from India. The ban was imposed in 2011 and India's export of rapeseed meal was worth 161 million U.S. dollars that year. India has surplus of 500,000 tons of rapeseed meal to export to China every year, said the official statement.