Basmati rice grown in Uttaranchal will now be exported to European countries and also to south Indian states, state Agriculture Minister, Mahendra Singh Mahra, has announced.

We will soon start exporting Basmati rice, specially, Dehraduni Basmati to European nations, said Mahra, adding that the rates of organic basmati paddy grown in the state were the highest in the country.

According to sources, Satnam Overseas Ltd. and KRBL have signed an agreement with Uttaranchal Basmati rice growers to buy and market their product in the international market. Delhi-based Satnam Overseas, which sells the Kohinoor brand rice, has assured to buy organic Basmati paddy at Rs. 22.50 per kg and Pusa organic Basmati paddy at Rs. 15 per kg while Haryana-based KRBL, which sell rice under the brand name of India Gate Basmati would procure Basmati paddy at Rs. 22.50 per kg.

The two companies have given assurance that they would display the name of Uttaranchal on their rice bags that will be exported. The agreement with these two companies would remain effective for three years after which it can be extended.

Efforts are also being made to send separate consignments of the Basmati rice to other parts of the country.According to official statistics, a total of 500 hectares of land is under organic Basmati rice cultivation in Uttaranchal on which nearly 800 tonnes of paddy is grown every year. The demand for Basmati rice is rapidly growing in Europe especially in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and the Scandinavian nations.

As the demand for the Basmati rice grows, the Uttaranchal government has decided to expand the cultivation to 800 hectares from the present 500 hectares and are encouraging farmers to grow organic Basmati.