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Basmati battle: Nepal to oppose India’s bid for GI recognition in Europe

agricultural crop and rice culture in nepal
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Kathmandu, December 9

Nepal has decided to oppose India’s application to the European Union seeking a geographical indication recognition for its basmati rice.

Currently, the European bloc is considering the application, and opponents can file their protests until December 11, according to international media. Pakistan is also reportedly preparing to register its protest.

A meeting of officials in Nepal’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development of Nepal on Tuesday decided to formally lodge the protest, according to the ministry’s spokesperson Hari Bahadur KC.

The status gives a product recognition as having “qualities, reputation or characteristics relating to its place of origin,” according to The Guardian. In Europe, products such as Parma ham, champagne and stilton cheese have such a status, allowing producers from the respective regions to charge higher prices.

“Because the basmati rice is produced in various parts of Nepal since ages ago and it is exportable, Nepal is protesting, seeking its right on the product,” the ministry says in a statement.

India, however, has been claiming that seeking the status does not mean claiming exclusivity.

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