By Hamza AmeerIslamabad, Jan 27 : Pakistan has received GI (geographical indicator) tag for its Basmati rice, which will help its case against India in the European Union (EU), where India has applied for declaring Basmati as its origin.
“Pakistan received the geographical indicator tag for Basmati on 26 January 2021,” confirmed an official government source.
The GI tag will aid Pakistan’s case against India at the EU as it has challenged the Indian claim by registering its own GI for Basmati and would be claiming the same protection of its Basmati in the EU as India.
“Since Basmati rice fetches higher prices in the International markets, India had attempted to block Pakistan’s trade in the EU by declaring that its Basmati was the geographically original one,” said the government official.
Pakistan’s was quick to take notice of the matter as The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) prepared the book of specifications for Basmati, laying down the criteria of characteristics for Basmati, needed to be followed by any producer or operator in Pakistan.
“Since REAP is a trade body, which has been involved in exporting Basmati to the world and it is representative of Pakistan’s exporters of Basmati, it was best suited to offer insight into Basmati’s trade, characteristics, regions and history,” said the government official.
The Pakistani government had designated the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) as registrant of Basmati, which moved the application for registration of Basmati with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO).
As per details, IPO, with the help of REAP, mapped the regions where Basmati is grown by taking recommendations from all provinces of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s fast paced acquiring of GI tag comes after India applied for the GI tag on Basmati in the EU, a move that many rice traders say, caught Pakistani authorities napping as deliberate delays in acquiring the GI tag were witnessed for years.
Pakistan aims to block India’s way for the GI tag at the EU as it fears loosing billions in rice exports if India gets the rights of Basmati trade.