There are seven states in India with a geographical indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice production. These are the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir.
Basmati rice is exported from India to many countries, especially to the Gulf and European countries. Recognizing its important role in India's economy, it has been reported that 24 districts of India have been declared as Basmati Export Zone from Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and Punjab. In Uttaranchal, districts exporting, including Udhamsinghnagar, Haridwar, Nainital, and Dehradun, have been made part of the Basmati Export Zone.
Basmati rice is one of the major exports of India. The values and quantities of Basmati rice account for almost all rice exports from India. Major export markets of Indian basmati rice include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran, and about 70% of the export of basmati rice is for these three countries from India. Although the exports of basmati rice from India to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK, and the US have decreased during the past few years, exports to Iran, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, and the Netherlands have increased. This implies that not only for Middle Eastern countries have preferences towards basmati rice, but the preferences in wider countries seem to increase in recent years.
The areas with G.I. Tag for Basmati rice production in India are in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir. The steady increase in the production of rice and the availability of buffer stocks and the growing demand for basmati rice in the international market made India a vital rice exporting country of the world. As per the Seeds Act of 1996, a total of 29 varieties of Basmati Rice have been identified. Each variety is unique in its properties, flavor, texture, appearance, and nutrition.