Punjab to sow new short duration Basmati variety next kharif

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    "Through the field trial we have witnessed that new variety gives better grain quality and yield by using less water which would help the country in increasing exports," Vijay Setia, former president, All-India Rice Exporters Association and leading exporter of Basmati rice said.

    India's Basmati rice export is set to cross Rs 16,000 crore mark duing current fiscal. The country shipped aromatic and long grained rice worth Rs 15,450 crore during 2011-12.

    Pusa Basmati 1121 also developed by IARI was released for commercial cultivation in 2003. This variety presently occupies more than 1.5 million hectare of Basmati rice grown area estimated at around 2.6 mh.

    An official with Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said India's Basmati rice exports rose sharply following the introduction of Pusa 1121 variety in the global markets. Pusa 1121 has a huge demand from mostly middle-east countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    Last six years have been watershed years as far as India's basmati rice export goes. From a modest Rs 2792 crore of aromatic rice exports during 2006-7, the exports have increased by many times and are set to cross Rs 16,000 crore mark during the current fiscal.

    Basmati rice is mostly grown in Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand. India exports Basmati rice to middle-east countries mostly Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE, European Union and the US.

    Saudi Arabia and Iran account for more than 60% of India's total Basmati rice exports.

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