Shivraj Chouhan seeks GI tag for Madhya Pradesh’s Basmati rice; meets Union agriculture minister

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday met Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and sought his intervention in getting Geographical Indication tag for Basmati rice produced in the state.
A Geographical Indication (GI) tag indicates specific geographical origin of a product.
Basmati rice is produced by about 80,000 farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s 13 districts — Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Sheopur, Datia, Shivpuri, Guna, Vidisha, Raisen, Sehore, Hoshangabad, Jabalpur and Narsinghpur, Chouhan said.
‘Looking at the historical evidences, it will be appropriate to grant GI tag to Basmati produced in the state which will keep the interests of state’s farmers intact,’ he said.
The Madhya Pradesh CM said Basmati rice produced in the state is exported to various foreign countries contributing annually to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore towards foreign exchange, according to a statement issued by the state government here.
‘Denying GI tag to the rice produced in these 13 districts will be grave injustice to the farmers of the state and their livelihood,’ the chief minister said during the meeting.
Tomar assured him of all possible help from the Centre in this regard, the statement said.
Earlier during the day, Chouhan also met President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
This was his first meeting with the president and the vice president after assuming the office of chief minister for the fourth time in March 2020.
During the meeting with the president, Chouhan briefed him about the coronavirus related situation in the state and on other state-related matters.
In his meeting with Naidu, he briefed him about the record wheat procurement in the state and various initiatives taken by his government for the welfare of migrant labourers and combating coronavirus, the statement said.
He also presented to Kovind and Naidu copies of two booklets — ‘Ummeed’ and ‘Madhya Pradesh Vikas ke Pratibadh Prayas’ — published by the state government.