The Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority(APEDA) has decided to include only traditional basmati rice growing states that are Punjab,Haryana,Uttrakhand,and Himachal Pardesh and Western Uttar Pardesh and Jammu and Kathua District of J&K states in the Geographical Indication (GI) application.
Under the geographical indication of Goods(Registration and Protection)Act 1999,APEDA is designated custodian of GI rights for indian basmati rice.
The Minister of state for commerce and industry india cleared in the parliament that APEDA will not include Madhya Pardesh,Rajasthan and Bihar in its GI application.
In 2009, the APEDA applied to the GI Registry in Chennai seeking GI protection for Indian basmati rice. However, based on complaints from the Madhya Pradesh
department of farmer welfare and agriculture development and some basmati exporters in the state, in December 2013, the GI Registry directed the APEDA to
file an amended GI application to include Madhya Pradesh as a basmati growing area.
APEDA was not convinced by the GI Registry’s directive, the APEDA approached the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in February 2014 to decide over the decision to include Madhya Pradesh in its Geographical Indications (GI) application. The APEDA has been very keen on not including other basmati growing states, other than those recognized by National Agricultural Research System under the agriculture and co-operative department, in its application as it views the GI status is critical in determining the genuine basmati rice cultivators.
APEDA is also becoming so possessive for not including other staes in its GI application because it will not fair for the states included in the GI application to include other state rice as a basmati variety just on the basis of equivalent standards and specifications and adding such states would add their intervention and the process will only delay and it makes difficult the process of getting a legal protection to basmati rice.
A GI label certifies the geographical origin of a product and confirms adherence to some production standards. It also prevents producers who aren’t covered by the
tag from using the same.