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AGRICULTURE

MP govt and APEDA in Basmati rice geographical indication registry row
Monday, 11 September, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The geographical indication (GI) registry over Basmati rice has sparked a row between the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the Madhya Pradesh government, following the latter’s application for the GI registry of the central Indian state for Basmati rice production.

B M Sahare, additional director, ministry of agriculture, government of Madhya Pradesh, said, “Thirteen or fourteen districts of the state are currently producing Basmati rice.”

“There is a formidable basis for our application, and even the GI Registry, which is based in Chennai, has recognised our claim. But this was challenged in the court, and the matter is now sub judice,” he added.

Sahare stated that the state government applied for GI Registry after conducting several of the mandatory tests at accredited laboratories to prove the claim.

However, a senior official dealing with the issue stated that APEDA’s position was open and clear. Only seven states are a part of the GI registry for Basmati Rice, and the authority will oppose any move to include any other state for it.

APEDA also fears that this will open a Pandora’s box, and Pakistan and China can also claim the GI tag for Basmati rice.

Currently, eleven districts in Pakistan, under a treaty with India, enjoy GI registry for Basmati rice.

India, meanwhile, has a 85 per cent share in the global basmati rice trade. It exported basmati rice worth Rs 21,604 crore in 2016-17.

In a previous statement, the ministry of commerce and industries reported in Parliament that the National Agricultural Research System, under the ministry of agriculture and cooperation has recognised only the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand, the western part of Uttar Pradesh and two districts of Jammu and Kashmir (namely, Jammu and Kathua) as the traditional geographical indication for Basmati rice cultivation.

This means that the basmati rice produced in these regions are considered an intellectual property and will be acknowledged as Basmati rice, while the Basmati rice produced in other places will not be considered Basmati rice, as APEDA does not consider areas other than those with the GI tag for Basmati rice production.
 
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