Chandigarh/October 15 (NG News)
Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on Wednesday said that the state government would take up the issue of recognition of Pusa 1121 variety of Basmati in the Europe with the Union Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) which has not yet been defined it as approved export variety in the European market.
Badal assured export associations to thoroughly examine the issue of levying entry tax on the Basmati varieties of PUSA and Sugandha purchased from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states.
He urged on the need for bringing awareness amongst the farmers about the moisture content in Basmati crop and said that the state government and Punjab Rice Exporters Association (PREA) must synergize their efforts in this regard by launching vigorous media campaign so that the farmers could get remunerative prices of their produce.
The Chief Minister also urged PREA the to adopt a nearby cluster of 8-10 villages for the quality seed production of Basmati varieties like 1501, 421 besides initiating vigorous efforts for the revival of traditional variety of Basmati-386, which was known for its unique aromatic fragrance and taste world over.
The Chief Minister impressed upon the members of the PREA for cooperation on this pro-farmer cause which would not only help the state government to boost its efforts of agriculture diversification but also ensure highly remunerative prices of their produce.
Badal said that the state agriculture department along with the association could put in efforts jointly for the production of quality Basmati seed as this step was being viewed as giving further impetus to the Basmati’s export potential manifold.
Expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister for the incentives extended to the Rice Exporters and Millers, the PREA assured Badal that with the picking up of the Basmati arrival in the coming days, the state farmers would be enormously benefitted with the price touching Rs 3000 plus per quintal mark.
The Chief Minister also promised to resolve all the pending issues of the PREA at the forum of Basmati development Board and asked the officers to fix its meeting at the earliest.
Prominent amongst other present in the meeting included Principal Secretary to Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Special Principal Secretaries Gaggandip Singh Brar and Ajoy Kumar Sharma.
The PREA delegation was led by its Director Ashok Sethi besides Arvinderpal Singh, Ashok Arora, Satish Vohra, Amit Marwaha, Sumit Aggarwal and Vivek Gupta.