Mannachanallur rice mills struggle to sustain operation

The predicament of the member units of Mannachanallur Rice Mill Owners’ Association is not getting any better this year. The industry is also labour-intensive, particularly in conventional rice mills where cleaning, drying, grading and polishing activities are carried out manually. Declining paddy arrivals due to the drought conditions has caused a perceptible downslide in milling activities in Mannachanallur town that is famous for its Ponni variety of rice. Though the rice mills in the town have embraced modernisation over the last decade, the competition they face from the millers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is rather tough, members said. Top quality paddy varieties produced in these States are procured by the mills there, and only the second quality is brought here for processing.

Declining paddy arrivals due to the drought conditions has caused a perceptible downslide in milling activities in Mannachanallur town that is famous for its Ponni variety of rice. Most of the about 40 mills in the town witnessed manufacturing activities for only three to four months in a year during 2015 and 2016.

Even to ensure this, the mills, according to local sources, were constrained to purchase paddy from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The predicament of the member units of Mannachanallur Rice Mill Owners’ Association is not getting any better this year.

Though the rice mills in the town have embraced modernisation over the last decade, the competition they face from the millers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is rather tough, members said. Top quality paddy varieties produced in these States are procured by the mills there, and only the second quality is brought here for processing.

The mills in the other States are also better placed in terms of operating efficiency.

With capacities to process 50 to 60 tonnes a day, the mills are able to produce and sell the rice at lower prices when compared to the millers in Mannachanallur where the capacities of the manufacturing units have capacities are much lower in the range of 10 to 15 tonnes. The industry is also labour-intensive, particularly in conventional rice mills where cleaning, drying, grading and polishing activities are carried out manually.


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