Bhubaneswar: The Union Government has included Odisha in the National Rice Export Promotion Forum after the State started exporting non-Basmati rice to foreign countries.
Odisha is exporting non-Basmati rice to Vietnam through Paradip Port and has huge opportunities to export to other countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Senegal, Malaysia and Iraq, officials here said.
While APEDA has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains, the Union Government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA.
REPF has representatives from rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Directors of Agriculture from major rice producing states, including Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh.
For boosting the exports of aromatic and long grain Basmati rice, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)’ arm Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) has taken innovative steps to sensitize farmers involved in the cultivation of Basmati rice in the key growing regions about adoption of good agricultural practices.
As part of the initiatives, BEDF in collaboration with the rice exporters associations of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi, state agriculture universities and state agriculture departments, organized 75 awareness and training programs to encourage farmers for growing high-quality Basmati rice in the seven states.
BEDF is also involved as technical partner for different FPOs, exporter associations, etc in Basmati rice growing states.
The farmers were trained about different methods to identify insect-pests and diseases of basmati rice and their management.
The issues like problems in basmati export and expectations of rice industry were also brought into the notice of growers and exporters during the awareness drive during the entire basmati growing season of 2021.
APEDA is given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag as the sole custodian of basmati rice grown in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Under the GI certification
issued in February 2016, 77 districts of seven states- Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir are referred to as basmati rice growing region.
During the awareness drive by BEDF, scientists explained to farmers and exporters about the pesticide residue problem in export of basmati rice and transfer of production technology including nursery raising, integrated nutrient and water management in local languages.
Through the awareness creation program, farmers were informed that the Basmati rice cultivation is an Indian tradition and it is a collective responsibility to maintain this tradition as there is huge demand for Basmati rice in the global market.
The farmers have been requested to get themselves registered on basmati.net through the State Agriculture Department.