A claim of the State-owned Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for Geographical Indication (GI) registration to Basmati rice is dragging further. The Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, has asked the APEDA to file an amended application while allowing oppositions from Madhya Pradesh.
Originally in November 2008, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority filed the application for GI registration of the agricultural product for the purpose of granting more protection to the producers/growers of the rice variety in the country.
In its application before GI Registry, the APEDA had said the Basmati is predominantly grown in states such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir.
Opposing the claim made by APEDA, Basmati rice growers and the Madhya Pradesh Government have been demanding the Union Government for amendment in GI registration application to include their State in the list. In the GI Registry, Madhya Kshetra Basmati Growers Association, Narmada Cereals, Daawat Foods, SSA International, Madhya Kshetra Basmati Exporters Association and the State Government of Madhya Pradesh filed applications opposing APEDA’s application for GI on Basmati.
They contended that the APEDA should not have excluded Madhya Pradesh in the list. No scientific study was undertaken before moving GI application by the APEDA. Madhya Pradesh has a history of cultivation of Basmati since 1900s.
Allowing the oppositions’ claims, the Assistant Registrar, Chinnaraja G. Naidu said that the APEDA had failed to satisfy the fundamental requirement of clear, specific and reasoned demarcation of Basmati-cultivation areas.
“There is no proper demarcation of cultivation area in the GI application. From the above evidence, it was found that the areas mentioned in the oppositions are having Basmati cultivation and need to be included in the application.”
Geographical area of protection was an important feature in granting GI tag and the area of cultivation had to be defined with clarity and without any ambiguity.
“The GI application remains imperfect, if it fails to cover the actual producing area. Not even a micron point space of actual cultivation area should be left uncovered,” he added.
The GI Registry said the APEDA should file an amended GI application including the uncovered area, with map of the region clearly demarcating the area of production within 60 days.
Opposition from Madhya Pradesh Basmati rice growers allowed
Madhya Pradesh has been demanding amendment in GI application to include their State