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Indian Basmati Rice in Pakistan

  • Context (IE): Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) have red-flagged the “illegal” cultivation of its blockbuster varieties in Pakistan.
  • Indian Basmatis are being grown & marketed in Pakistan as “1121 Kainat” and “Kissan Basmati“.

Protection Available

  • All the varieties we have bred are notified under the Seeds Act, 1966, for cultivation in the officially demarcated Geographical Indication area of basmati rice within India, covering 7 northern states.
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, allows only Indian farmers to sow, save, re-sow, exchange, or share the seeds of any protected/registered varieties.
  • Protected Geographical Indication (PGI): To counter this, India has applied for the exclusive use of the term “Basmati” in the EU.

Pakistan’s growing Indian Basmati

  • As with just about 5kg seeds, one acre of Pusa Basmati can be grown, Pakistani firms need to procure just a few kg of these, either from wholesale mandis or fields across the border.
  • Within two years of release, subsequent multiplication generates sufficient seeds for Pakistani firms.

India and Pakistan’s position in Basmati export

  • India shipped out 45.61 lakh tonnes (lt) of basmati rice worth $4.79 billion in 2022-23. Pakistan’s basmati exports are way lower at 5.95 lt ($650.42 million) in 2022-23 (July-June).
  • The Pakistani rupee’s depreciation has enabled the country to export its Super Kernel basmati brown rice to the European Union and the United Kingdom at cheaper rates.
  • India dominates in Iran, Saudi Arabia & West Asian countries due to demand for parboiled rice.
  • Parboiled (converted) rice is partially precooked in its husk, which retains some nutrients otherwise lost during refining. Parboiled rice has harder grains and is less susceptible to breakage when cooked for a long time.

For more details, visit > Basmati rice.

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