NEW DELHI : The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has stepped in to assist agricultural product exporters in resolving the issue of a rail rake shortage, but the situation is likely to remain tight for some time.
APEDA has been following up with the Railway Ministry on the issue since it was brought to its attention, though some rice and sugar exporters are moving their consignments by truck to ports due to a lack of other options.
The shortage of rakes has arisen as the railways prioritize the transportation of coal and fertilizer. Furthermore, the government prioritizes the movement of foodgrains intended for public distribution due to fears that the spread of the Omicron variant will result in shutdowns.
“This is in contrast to three months ago when Railways allowed us to load in 21-box rakes rather than the usual 42-box rakes.” “You now have demand from coal, fertilizers, food grains, cement, and other industries,” said BV Krishna Rao, President of The Rice Exporters Association (TREA).
Exporters are looking at nearby destinations for shipments in addition to options such as transporting export consignments by road, which will help them overcome the problem of lower margins, according to VR Sagar, Director, Bulk Logix.
APEDA Chairman M Angamuthu informed that his office met with TREA, which had complained about the lack of rakes affecting the export of non-Basmati rice from Chhattisgarh over the past month.