PIB – 16th Dec 2020

APEDA organises workshop on ‘Opportunities in Export of Organic Basmati Rice, Value Addition and Product Diversification’

  • APEDA has been continuously making efforts to ensure that the reputation attached to the name Basmati is maintained throughout the supply chain right up to the retail level in the domestic market as well as at a global level.
  • Followings are the key areas for possible expansion of rice exports from India:
  1. Development of innovative products from rice to provide nutritional and health benefits which can have a good share in the global market as well in the domestic market.
  2. The products to be developed in a diversified and nutritionally enhanced manner to cater for the preferences
  • Basmati rice continues to be one of the major agro-products of export from the country. The quantity of export has gone up by about 17.5 % during the period April-October 2020 compared to the same period last year. The export prices of Basmati rice and accordingly of the paddy for farmers are influenced by overall global food price trends and increase or decrease in supply.
  • In the last one decade, the volume of Basmati Rice Exports has more than doubled.
  • The major destinations for India’s basmati rice exports include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, European Union and the United States.
  • Overall exports of Basmati rice from the country continue to do well.  APEDA proposes to undertake a campaign in major markets to promote the export of Basmati rice in Indian Brands in retail packs, aiming at higher unit value realisation and it was decided to prepare a Strategy for product diversification and value addition in Basmati Rice.
  • However, continuous development of new varieties released by the Research Institutions like Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, Delhi, Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) and the Agriculture Universities in the key Basmati growing states have helped farmers in terms of higher productivity and greater resistance to  lodging with stronger stems. At present, there are 34 approved varieties of Basmati Rice being cultivated in the country. Huge export potential exists for value-added products from rice.

QCI Launches Recognition Scheme for Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies

  • Quality Council of India (QCI) at the behest of the FSSAI has come out with a Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies to scale up Hygiene Rating by increasing the number of recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies in the country. 
  • FSSAI’s initiative of ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ is a certification system for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers, either on or off premise. 
  • The food establishments are rated based on food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of audit. The hygiene rating will be in the form of smileys (1 up to 5) and the certificate should be displayed prominently in the consumer facing area. 
  • The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies will be responsible for verifying the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI and get Hygiene Rating.
  • The scheme aims to allow consumers to make informed choices/decisions pertaining to the food outlets where they eat by encouraging food businesses to improve their hygiene and safety standards. 
  • Currently, this scheme is applicable for Food service establishments (such as hotels, restaurants, cafeteria, dhabhas, etc), sweet shops, bakeries and meat retail stores.
  • The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agency will verify the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI.

India Post Payments Bank launches its digital payments’ services ‘DakPay’, aims to Transform Banking Experience at the last mile

  • Department of Posts (DoP) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) unveiled a new digital payment app ‘DakPay’. The App is launched as part of its ongoing efforts to provide Digital Financial inclusion at the last mile across India.
  • DakPay is not just a digital payment app but a suite of digital financial and assisted banking services provided by India Post & IPPB through the trusted Postal (‘Dak’) network across the nation to cater to the financial needs (‘Pay’) of various sections of the society – be it sending money to the loved ones (Domestic Money Transfers – DMT), Scan QR code and make payment for services/merchants digitally (Virtual debit card & with UPI), enabling cashless ecosystem through biometrics, providing interoperable banking services to the customers of ANY BANK (AePS) and Utility Bill Payment services.
  • About India Post Payments Bank
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has been established under the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communication with 100% equity owned by Government of India. IPPB was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on September 1, 2018. 
  • The bank has been set up with the vision to build the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man in India. The fundamental mandate of India Post Payments Bank is to remove barriers for the unbanked & underbanked and reach the last mile leveraging the Postal network comprising 155,000 Post Offices (135,000 in rural areas) and 300,000 Postal employees.