Pakistan refutes Indian basmati rice piracy accusations

Pakistani rice sector is worried about the potential export impact from these allegations

Pakistani rice scientists have dismissed claims from India that Pakistan has appropriated two high-yielding basmati varieties, urging the government to counter what they call baseless assertions aimed at affecting Pakistan’s rice exports.

Dr. Muhammad Ijaz of the Rice Research Institute refuted the allegations, stating that the genetic makeup of the Pakistani rice varieties is distinct from those developed in India, as reported by Dawn.

Recent accusations from Indian agricultural circles allege that Pakistani rice firms have engaged in ‘seed technology piracy’ by renaming and selling Indian-developed basmati rice varieties in international markets.

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) claims that the Pakistani rice export companies are marketing PUSA 2011 and 1509 varieties as Kainat 2011 and Kissan Basmati.

In response, Dr. Ijaz countered these allegations, attributing them to competitive motives linked to the rise in Pakistani rice exports.

The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has approached the Rice Research Institute, requesting DNA profiles of specific rice varieties for third-party assessment to validate their claims of distinctiveness.

The Pakistani rice industry has expressed concern over these accusations, fearing potential impacts on their exports.

Industry leaders are calling on the government to actively address and rebut these claims to protect Pakistan’s basmati rice market.

The situation recalls previous disputes, notably India’s unsuccessful bid to secure an exclusive Geographical Indication tag for basmati rice, highlighting ongoing tensions between the two nations over rice trade.


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