Tuesday, February 2, 2010

milling is no easy task in choosing the shade

I spent the best part of the morning at the local paddy mill, where people go to mill their paddy be it parboiled or regular. I needed to top up my depleted supplies to my shop on the farm, so I had to take all the types I had in store this time.

My orders for red basmati has suddenly increased, as I gave demonstrations on how it was to be cooked. CIC sell it as a Golden Crop rice at Rs 170 a kg but I can assure the reader that theirs is not as fresh as mine. This rice was grown in a few fields in the adjoining property so I have a limited supply, and I regret selling the main supply as an out-grower for CIC, as it would have been better to sell it direct to my customers, as the huge loss I incurred would have at least resulted in a break even situation.

I milled it into two shades of red, and while I had less of the lighter shade, milled, I suspect the demand will be for the lighter shade though I can tell you the darker red is much tastier. This Basmati can be eaten on its own as it is really tasty, but one can only eat it in small quantities.

I also milled my red samba and red long grain both into different shades of red to suit the likes of different customers. I also milled the white Pokuru Samba that has a grain that is between normal Samba and the tiny grain of Keeri Samba.

It costs Rs 2 to mill a kg of paddy. On average 3 kgs of paddy yields 2kgs of rice. Therefore the milling cost of a kg sold is Rs3. If one puts the rice through the machine that eliminates stones, that adds a further 50 cents to the milling cost.

One has to be on site to agree on the shade to be milled as the individual customer preferences is not known to the miller, and cannot be communicated even by the provision of a sample as those in charge rarely manage to follow your orders.

I brought more than 500 kg of milled rice on this visit as suddenly the demand for my rice has increased due to the price increases elsewhere. I have not changed the price of my rice for many years, and now the external prices have exceeded mine, and therefore the customers see the worth in mine, whereas some thought it too expensive in the past. My red rices both are sold at Rs75 kg while the Basmati retails for Rs 125 and the Pokuru Samba at Rs 85.

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