Apeda says can’t include MP for Basmati GI tag

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Chennai | Published: November 5, 2015 1:08:13 AM

The Basmati Growers Association from Pakistan also challenged the Apeda move in the IPAB claiming that Basmati is a name for a slender, aromatic and long grain variety of rice grown in the specific geographical area at the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) on Wednesday vehemently opposed inclusion of Madhya Pradesh in the application for geographical indications (GI) tag for Basmati as the state does not fall under the Indo-Gangetic Plain where the rice variety had traditionally and commercially been cultivated.

Resuming the hearing on the issue of inclusion of the state of Madhya  Pradesh at the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) here, PS Raman, the counsel for Apeda, argued that while the state claims that the rice produced there has characteristics of Basmati, the climatic conditions including temperature and the day length in the state are different from the traditional Basmati producing states and thus, it cannot be included under the GI.

Apeda had filed an appeal at the  IPAB against the order of assistant registrar of the GI Registry, issued on December 31, 2013, which allowed the opposition by various parties, including the department of farmer welfare and agriculture development of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Kshetra Basmati Growers Association Samiti based in Raisen district among others against the application of Apeda for GI registration for Basmati. Apeda’s application for registration of Basmati as GI in class 30 under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999, was without inclusion of Madhya Pradesh.

Subsequently the registrar of GI ordered that Apeda should file a revised application incorporating the uncovered states including Madhya Pradesh, against which Apeda filed the appeal.

The State of Madhya Pradesh has submitted to the IPAB that its claims should be treated on par with the states which has been recommended for registration of GI tag for Basmati rice by Apeda.  Apeda in its application has included Punjab, Haryana,  Delhi, Himachal  Pradesh, Uttarakhand,and parts of  western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu  & Kashmir to be the areas brought under the geographical areas for Basmati GI tag.

However, the counsel for Madhya Pradesh argued that the state has been producing the particular rice for several decades and thousands of farmers are involved in its cultivation.

The rice growers and producers claimed the rice produced in MP, particularly Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Sheopur, Datia, Shirpur, Guna, Vidisha, Raiben, Sehore, Hoshangabad, Jabalpur and Narsinghpur, has the required characteristics of rice variety mentioned in the application of Apeda.

The Basmati Growers Association from Pakistan also challenged the Apeda move in the IPAB claiming that Basmati is a name for a slender, aromatic and long grain variety of rice grown in the specific geographical area at the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan.

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