Pakistan gets Geographical Indicator tag for basmati

Published January 28, 2021
Regions where Basmati is grown was mapped by the IPO following recommendations from all provinces. — Reuters/File
Regions where Basmati is grown was mapped by the IPO following recommendations from all provinces. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: Pakistan on Tuesday received the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati, paving the way for creating a local registry for this particular strain of rice and making a case in the world markets for its protection as a Pakistani product.

“I am glad to inform that Pakistan has registered Basmati Rice as Geographical Indication (GI) under Geographical Indications Act 2020. Under this Act, a GI registry has been formed which will register GIs and maintain the basic record of proprietors & authorised users of GI,” Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood said in a thread on Twitter.

“This will provide protection of our products against misuse or imitation & hence will guarantee that their share in int’l market is protected. I encourage you to send your suggestions of products that can be registered as GIs to Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan. 2/2,” Mr Dawood added.

According to the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap), registration of basmati as a GI in the country required cooperation between the public and private sector. The Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was designated as a Registrant of Basmati by the federal government. TDAP made an application to register Basmati to Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO). In this regard, IPO sought assistance from Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku and Reap.

Regions where Basmati is grown was mapped by the IPO following recommendations from all provinces. The process followed by the IPO has been an inclusive one and brought all the stakeholders on one table, Reap said.

Through intra-provincial and public-private cooperation, Pakistan has obtained the GI tag for its basmati which will strengthen the country’s case against India in the European Union.

Since basmati rice fetch higher prices than non-basmati rice in international markets, India has attempted to block Pakistan’s trade in the EU by declaring that this particular strain is the geographically original one. Pakistan has challenged this claim and by registering the GI for basmati, the country will claim the same protection of its basmati in EU as India.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2021

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