It has a prized aroma, an impeccabits pedigree and an awesome global reputation. None of this has helped Basmati to get the special label it deserves. Basmati is to India

Press Trust Of India / Islamabad November 10, 2008, 0:45 IST

India and Pakistan decided on Saturday to mount a joint defence to prevent the unauthorised use of basmati rice, a common heritage of the two countries.

The state Government will soon declare new sugarcane price for the farmers, which would be the highest in the country, said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The Centre has agreed to give basmati status to Pusa 1121 paddy, bringing relief to farmers who now needn

Scented rices have been known in the Indian subcontinent since the times of Charaka [600 BC] and Susruta [200 BC]. These rices have played an important role in many regional economies, and have been the favorites of kings, religious heads, royalty and the elite of society. Most of these rices are highly area specific; hence each Indian state has its own special scented rice.

Two representatives of the World Bank met the farmers at village Sunpura in Vidisha district yesterday and held discussions with them on issues pertaining to agriculture. They enquired as to what crops they take in which season, which variety of seeds they use, quantum of production, marketing of their produce and application of fertilisers and pesticides. The team was surprised to learn that a pioneer in wheat production Vidisha district has now taken to Basmati rice production and the farmers are getting attracted to orchards.

NEW DELHI: The Centre, battling shortage of food grains and double-digit inflation, got a significant relief on Monday from the Supreme Court, which imposed an interim ban on further export of non-basmati rice. This interim order came on the Centre's petition questioning the decisions of various high courts to allow rice export by firms, which had challenged the April 1, 2008, central notification banning such exports.

The government is likely to notify Pusa 1121 rice variety, which is the world's longest grain, as basmati, as a ban on shipment of non-basmati rice prevents its sale abroad. "The agriculture ministry is likely to send a proposal either this week or next week to the cabinet for approving the 1121 variety as Basmati rice," an industry source said. There are six traditional varieties

India will review bans on exports of wheat and basmati rice, but shipments of other grades of rice will not be allowed at least until November, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said. India last exported wheat in the 2003-04 fiscal year and became an importer in the past two years, but a bumper crop has helped the government purchase from local farmers a record 24.8 million tonnes of the staple this year. Pawar said on Thursday that a government panel, called the Empowered Group of Ministers , (EGoM), would soon consider lifting the ban on wheat exports.

The government on Thursday decided to empower the agriculture export promotion agency(AEPA) to protect India's farm and horticulture products like Basmati rice from anyone patenting them anywhere in the world.