The Indian Government has banned exporting non-basmati white rice and broken rice, which has sent shockwaves throughout many parts of the world, including restaurants in Strathmore and the surrounding area. India exports more than 40% of the world's total rice exports, making them the largest supplier in the world. Non-basmati white rice makes up around 25% of Indian rice exports.

Strathmore's Saffron Bistro owner Debi Kandel explained his restaurant only uses basmati rice, so theoretically this ban shouldn't impact him. However, the non-basmati export ban has resulted in other rice costs going up, as Kandel explained some people haven't focused on the specifics of the export ban and have assumed all rice exports have been banned, resulting in panic-buying driving up prices, or the big suppliers increasing prices on all rice anyways.

"When we order they (big suppliers and warehouses) said 'rice from India is banned' and they increased the price, but they get the (basmati) rice the same price as before," Kandel said. 

"People heard the news that India banned the non-basmati rice but people don't listen. Basmati rice is not banned."

The basmati rice Kandel orders every month has gone up $7, from $38 a bag to $45. While a $7 increase may not seem like much, he orders 40 bags a month, so that's a $280 increase a month. This is on top of other rising prices including groceries, electricity costs, and more. This leaves his business in a difficult situation, as he said he has no choice but to simply eat the cost.

"If I increase the price every month... I can't change the menu because when I print the menu, it costs me like $2000-3000 to print the menu, do the new everything, right? It's no benefit for me too." 

Beyond the finances behind being unable to change the menu, Kandel added even if he did increase his prices, this may result in fewer customers returning to his restaurant, as customers would see higher prices and decide it's not worth eating out. 

The Indian government said they banned the exports of non-basmati white rice and broken rice for several reasons, with one of the key factors being heavy rain damaging crops in northern India. This has resulted in rising prices in India, so the Indian government wanted to curb its own food inflation and secure availability in its own country.

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