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After Egypt, Thailand wants to export Basmati to West Asia by cultivating it.

After Egypt, Thailand wants to export Basmati to West Asia by cultivating it.

After Egypt, Thailand is now targeting the market in West Asia, specifically Saudi Arabia, by taking an ambitious move to grow basmati rice.

The development comes on the heels of Bangkok recently reviving full diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia. Bilateral relations between the two countries were affected for almost three decades.

Prime Minister’s Chan-o-cha Instructions

Thailand’s English Daily Bangkok Post An editorial in “Don’t Rush Basmati” stated that its Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha “instructs relevant agencies to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the agricultural sector, including plantations of Basmati for export to Saudi Arabia”. Had given”.

It cited a statement from Thai government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana last week that Saudi demand for aromatic rice is around 30 million tonnes (mt).

The daily said it was a good move to promote Basmati cultivation as an alternative crop in the Southeast Asian country as it has ordered a premium on its flagship jasmine rice.

Egyptian move

The development in Thailand comes nearly 10 months after Egypt said it would try to grow and market basmati rice on its farms. However, Egyptian officials did not specify whether the long-grain rice would be sold or exported within the country.

However, it is a million dollar question whether Thailand can grow basmati rice. Industry experts and analysts said India has got protection through a registered Geographical Indication (GI) for aromatic rice.

official sources told business Line Thailand cannot cultivate basmati rice because it is “GI-protected”. “We will trace the source and take action against them,” an official said.

developed varieties

S Chandrasekaran, who has authored the book “Basmati Rice: The Natural History Geographical Indication”, said the problem for India may be that it is shipping “developed varieties”, not traditional.

“Indian Basmati has been losing its premium over the years,” he said.

Obtaining a GI tag allows countries to prevent a third party from using the tag if the product does not meet the standards. Such protection may not be available to India, as a country which has a GI tag for a specific product cannot prevent another country from producing the same product using the same technology as per the prescribed norms Is.

“India has not registered for GI in Thailand. In fact, its application for GI tag is pending in more than 15 countries including the European Union,” Chandrasekaran said.

He said the dispute would be more technical than legal and India would have to do a lot of ground work.

Giving a technical explanation of the issue, the expert said, “Madhya Pradesh has challenged the GI within the country to get recognition for the Basmati variety.”

taking on america

Vijay Kumar Setia, former President of All India Rice Exporters Association and President of Chaman Lal Setia Exports said that India has got GI protection for Basmati rice for the last 20 years.

“We have GI protection and we are fighting everywhere for it. Making statements is different from practice. It will be difficult for Thailand to grow Basmati. Saudi Arabia will give preference to Indian Basmati over Thailand.

Setia said Indian rice has done well to replace the dominance of American rice in the state over the past 20 years.

When Egypt announced that it would cultivate basmati, Chandrasekaran said that Cairo could export long-grain rice to neighboring Islamic countries, which could encourage such a move.

Specifically, it can ship rice to nearby countries such as Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. However, it will not be able to export it to the European Union, where India can force the issue through GI protection, he said.

export performance

Bangkok Postin its editorial expressed wonder whether Thailand could produce quality basmati rice and whether its production could be “competitive enough”.

It said that some basmati crop was grown in Thailand 20 years ago but could not be sustained due to lack of competition and marketing strategies. The daily wondered whether Bangkok could compete against India, which dominates the basmati market with 60-70 per cent global market share.

The daily advocated caution and said the Thai government would need to find answers by asking growers to understand the nature of the rice variety and find efficient marketing strategies.

Data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) shows that Basmati exports during the financial year 2021-22 stood at 3.95 million tonnes, valued at ₹26,415 crore, as against 4.63 million tonnes in 2020-21. The value was ₹ 29,849 crore.

During the last financial year, Saudi Arabia reduced the import of Basmati rice from India to 0.67 million tonnes from 1.03 million tonnes in 2020-21. It was the second largest buyer after Iran, which increased its purchases from 0.75 million tonnes to 0.99 million tonnes.

According to APEDA data, basmati consignments in West Asia, including Gulf Cooperation Council countries, declined to 3 million tonnes from 3.51 in the last financial year 2020-21.

Published on

22 June 2022

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After Egypt, Thailand wants to export Basmati to West Asia by cultivating it.

#Egypt #Thailand #export #Basmati #West #Asia #cultivating

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