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APEDA Proposes To Promote Market Access For GI-Tagged Rice From Kerala

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina

APEDA has offered to hold frequent buyer-seller meetings in order to promote effective market linkage for the promotion of GI-tagged rice from Kerala.

According to Simi Unnikrishnan, Assistant General Manager, APEDA, New Delhi, the distinctiveness and flavor of GI rice from Kerala, as well as its demand from the Indian community in importing nations, offer good prospects for selling GI rice.

She stated during a farmers-scientists interaction on GI tagged rice organized by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) that Kerala's contribution of rice production in the country is just 0.51 percent, which may be improved by increasing the area and adopting the technology proposed by KAU.

Insufficient Storage

India is the leading rice exporter, with China, the Philippines, and Nigeria being the top rice importers. However, excessive pesticide usage, shortage of quality seeds, delayed rains, and inconsistent delivery of required amounts of rice, which did not match global standards, were the restrictions in rice exports. The main problems encountered while exporting the rice to European nations are traceability and pesticide residues. According to her a lack of adequate storage facilities at the village level causes quality deterioration, which frequently leads to product rejection.

She said that "APEDA would assist farmers in exporting their produce for a premium price if the quality required by importing nations was met and a constant supply of the item was assured."

GI Registration

Speakers proposed collaboration between farmer societies and marketing agencies, support for authorized user registration, the development of business models with funding agency support for GI registration, and the publicity of GI rice through social networks and online marketing to increase its economic viability.

There were also appeals for the establishment of a platform for additional farmers to join a Palakkadan Matta Farmers' Producer Company Ltd in order to produce GI rice, as well as marketing assistance from KAU & APEDA.

Concerned about the exploitation of the Palakkadan Matta brand name by middlemen in other states, speakers have also sought government intervention to limit the usage of this brand name illegally. 

They also emphasized on the importance of upgrading skills in the areas of rice value addition in order to increase farmer income and lure rural youth to the rice cultivation.

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