Economics

Madhya Pradesh’s Basmati claim

Details :

The News:

  • Madhya Pradesh has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court challenging an order passed by Assistant Registrar of Geographical Indications (GI) excluding the State from being granted the GI tag for basmati rice.

Background

  • The GI Registry under the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks has rejected MP’s claim for inclusion as a basmati-growing state.

Why GI status was denied to MP

  • APEDA’s GI application for basmati rested on its supposed uniqueness as a rice grown in “a specific region of the Indo-Gangetic plain, situated below the foothills of the Himalayas”.
  • MP, according to it, did not fall within this specified geography, being situated far away from the Himalayan foothills.
  • ICAR is clear that the grain quality of basmati grown in MP cannot match that of the crop farmed in the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • Premium value of this rice as a result of GI tag has made it a Rs 35,000-crore industry. This may be dilute with more and more states staking claim for the GI tag.

 

What is special about Basmati

  • Basmati rice’s most distinctive trait is its aroma is derived from a compound called 2-Acetyl-1-Pyrroline.
  • The accumulation of this highly volatile compound in the grain is largely a function of environmental conditions.
  • The aroma retention is best when the plant’s flowering and grain-filling stages coincide with a cool climate, with temperatures below 30 degree Celsius during daytime and just over 20 degrees at night.
  • These conditions are available from end-September through October only in the traditional basmati belt.
  • Higher temperatures during the roughly one-month period from flowering to maturity can, moreover, impact the grain’s texture and milling quality.

 

Arguments in favour of MP

  • Loss to farmers: Around 80,000 farmers grow about 3 lakh tonnes (lt) basmati every on nearly 75,000 hectares in 13 districts viz Morena, Bhind, Sheopur, Gwalior, Datia, Shivpuri, Guna, Vidisha, Raisen, Sehore, Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur and Jabalpur.
  • Loss to exporters: Many exporters have established modern rice mills near Bhopal, sourcing the raw material at a relatively cheaper rate.
  • Low cost: While the price of Pusa Basmati-1 paddy in Punjab and Haryana mandis hovered between Rs 3,000 per quintal to Rs 3,350, variety MP ranged from Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,000.

 

Basmati production in India

  • India’s total basmati rice output is roughly 60 lt grown over an area of over 16 lakh hectares (lh)
  • 40 lakh tonnes of basmati rice is exported and valued at Rs 25,000 crore
  • Composition
  • 7 lh in Haryana
  • 6 lh in Punjab
  • 6 lh in UP
  • 6 lh in J&K
  • 15 lh in Uttaranchal
  • 07 lh in HP

About APEDA

  • The Agriculture and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority is a statutory authority under the Commerce Ministry.
  • APEDA, through APEDA (Amendment) Act, 2009, was given mandate for Registration and Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights including GI in respect of special products in India or outside India.
  • Second Schedule has been added to the APEDA Act containing the names of such products for which APEDA has been mandated to take these measures.
  • Basmati rice is now a registered GI product with effect from February, 2016.
  • APEDA as registered proprietor of the GI is responsible to put in place a system for administration of GI and authentication of the product reaching the consumers in India and abroad.

Advantages of GI tag

  • One of the effective ways to leverage the unique identity of a product is to obtain Geographical Indication (GI) if the product is suitable for it.
  • Geographical indication is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) which identifies a product as originating in a certain region where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
  • Unlike other IPRs, GIs are publicly owned by the legal organizations created by the producers of the concerned product.
  • Producers of similar products in other geographical regions are excluded from using the GI tag.
  • The protection accorded through GIs seeks to prevent illegitimate entities from free riding on the reputation of the protected product.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: