Agri deptt to register Basmati growers for improving quality, boost exports: Navin

JAMMU: The Agriculture Department of Jammu and Kashmir will register all basmati growers in the Union Territory on Basmati Net traceability system to maintain the quality of basmati and ensure the authenticity of basmati reaching to consumers besides increasing returns for the growers.
This was revealed by Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Navin Kumar Choudhary while chairing a meeting. He said that the registration process will be carried out in collaboration with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Navin Choudhary said that the registration of all Basmati farmers will be done in the initial weeks of February month. He said that this is a win-win situation for the farmers as well as the department because farmers will get good price of their produce and the department will be able to keep track of the whole process. He said that endeavor of the government is to create entire Basmati belt into organic and efforts should be made to make farmers aware about its benefits.
He said that after completing the process of registration, farmers would get certificate and on the dash board every kind of detail would be viewed and reviewed by the department.
Principal Secretary said that some progressive farmers will be selected and made aware by the experts. He said that farmers would be made aware that the price would increase if they would go for GI tagging and observe other set of recommendations for making it export quality produce.
Pertinently, Basmati net is aimed to provide a common platform to all the stakeholders in supply chain to enter details of activities undertaken by them as part of Basmati Value Chain. Through this mechanism, authenticity of Basmati rice reaching to the consumers in India or abroad will be ensured.
He further said that by going for GI tagging, the department will be able to identify the farmers who are using the fertilizers over and above the recommended quantity and also those who are using prohibited pesticides. Subsequently, the department can monitor and identify the farmer and take corrective measures accordingly, he added.
Moreover, this system will ensure better monitoring and supervision of the process of identification of lots that have quantities of proscribed pesticides or quantities above the threshold limit, the meeting was informed. It will help in preventing that the whole assignment of the produce do not get cancelled or returned by the importer.
Basmati has been registered as a Geographical Indication (GI) and therefore APEDA is in the process of putting in place a system for post registration administration of GI in association with all the stakeholders participating in the supply chain.
Registration of Basmati rice growers is pre-requisite in implementation of the Basmati Net Traceability system, which will create a database about Basmati farmers and will further help the APEDA to share information with them for export oriented production of good quality Basmati rice through use of good quality seed, good agriculture practices including judicious use of pesticides.


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