Publicly-funded research, like India's basmati rice innovation by IARI scientists, can lead to significant real-world benefits, boosting exports and income.
About Basmati Revolution in India:
The Basmati rice revolution in India refers to the remarkable growth in the cultivation and export of Basmati rice varieties.
This transformation has been driven by advancements in agricultural research and technology, particularly the efforts of scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi.
Over the past three decades, India's Basmati rice exports have surged from around 0.3-0.35 million tonnes valued at 200-250 million dollars to 4.5-4.6 million tonnes worth 7-4.8 billion dollars.
This success story showcases the potential of scientific research to significantly impact the agricultural sector and boost the country's economy.
Basmati Rice varieties in India:
Pusa Basmati-1121 (PB-1121): PB-1121 has gained immense popularity both in India and in international markets due to its quality and unique attributes.
This rice variety is prized for its distinct and appealing aroma, often described as nutty or floral.
PB-1509: PB-1509 is another variety of Basmati rice developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, India.
Similar to other Basmati varieties, PB-1509 is known for its distinct characteristics, including long grains, aromatic fragrance, and excellent taste.
It is a popular choice among consumers, especially in regions where Basmati rice is highly valued for its culinary qualities.
What are concerns associated with Basmati rice in India?
Lack of Minimum Support Price (MSP): Basmati paddy doesn't have a minimum support price (MSP), making farmers reliant on market prices, which can be volatile.
Reliance on Export Market: Most of India's basmati rice is exported, leaving farmers vulnerable to fluctuations in international markets and government policies, such as export restrictions.
Market and Policy Risks: Recent export restrictions, like the minimum price requirement of 1,200 per tonne dollars, highlight the potential risks associated with basmati farming, affecting farmers' income and livelihoods.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI):
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is India’s largest and foremost Institute in the field of research and higher education and training in agricultural sciences.
It has served the cause of science and society with distinction through first rate research, generation of appropriate technologies and development of human resources.
The administrative control of the Institute is vested with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which is an autonomous organization established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The Institute was originally established by the Government of India in 1905 at the village Pusa in north Bihar.
After a devastating earthquake in 1934, it was shifted to New Delhi in 1936.