Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced on Friday that two indigenous Manipur products – Hathi Chilly and Tamenglong orange – have been granted GI Tag and said that this historic development will help farmers in the state increase their earnings.
“What a great start to the day for Manipur!… I’m really happy to share that 2 (two) products of Manipur the Hathi Chilly & Tamenglong orange have been granted, GI Tag. This is a historic milestone in the history of Manipur which will increase the income of the farmers immensely,” Biren posted on Twitter.
For its distinctive vibrant color and distinct flavor, the Hathi chili is popular not only in its native Ukhrul’s Sirarakhong village but all over Manipur. Sirarakhong’s villagers rely heavily on the sale of this particular variety of chilly as a major source of income.
The Tamenglong orange tree can be found in all of Tamenglong district’s villages. A state-level Orange festival is held in Tamenglong every December to promote the farming of the region’s orange variety and provide a sustainable income for orange farmers in the district because of its exotic variety. Farmers who produce the best crops in a given year are recognized with awards.
Other agricultural development in the state
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh flagged off a shipment of 10 MT of Chak-hao rice bound for European countries a few days back. Manipur’s Minister of Agriculture, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, and Tourism, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, was on hand for the ceremonial hoisting of the flag. The Chief Minister had announced the news on Twitter using his official account. He also praised the state’s youths for their efforts to market Chak-hao rice outside of Manipur.
“I’m glad to flagged off a consignment of 10 MT Chak-hao in presence of Hon’ble Minister, Sh @LukhoiOinam Ji. Chak-Hao, a GI-tagged crop of Manipur, is becoming one of the most popular rice. I’m happy that many youths have started ventures to market these crops outside Manipur.” The chief minister tweeted.
What is a GI tag?
A geographical indication (GI) is a label placed on products with a specific geographical origin and qualities or a reputation derived from that origin. A GI sign must identify a product as coming from a specific location to serve its purpose.
A geographical indication right allows the owner of the right to use the indication to prevent unauthorized third parties from using it on their products. There are jurisdictions where the geographical indication “Darjeeling” is protected, which allows producers of Darjeeling tea to prevent other teas from using the term “Darjeeling” if they are not grown in their tea gardens or produced by code of practice standards.
However, the holder of a protected geographical indication cannot stop others from making a product using the same methods like those outlined in the standards for that indication. Protecting a geographical indication usually entails obtaining ownership of the sign that serves as the indication.
Few GI tags of the Northeastern states
Assam is well-known for its wildlife and archaeological sites, in addition to its tea and silk plantations. Kaji Nemu and Chokuwa Rice of Assam received the most recent GI Tags, making nine GI Tags total for the state of Assam.
Kaji Nemu is an Assamese agricultural product for which CRS-NA-DHING NEMU TENGA UNNAYAN SAMITY applied on January 5, 2018, for GI Tag.
Serj Satirth, the Secretary of Agriculture of Assam, applied for the GI tag for Chokuwa Rice on December 14th, 2016, and the product received its Certificate of Registration on February 26, 2020.
Other GI tags from Assam include –
Muga Silk of Assam, Muga Silk of Assam (Logo), Assam Orthodox, Tezpur Litchi, Joha Rice of Assam, and Boka Chaul
Bird’s Eye Chili from Mizoram is used to make a spicy chutney of roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, and coriander, and is also an essential ingredient in meat curries. The color of the chilies, which are only half an inch long when mature, changes from green to red.
Nagaland Tree Tomato – In April 2014 and March 2015, Nagaland’s tree tomatoes received the GI designation. Chutneys, curries, and other dishes that call for tomatoes can be made with this paste.
Tripura’s Queen Pineapple – In June 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind designated this golden-yellow fruit, which has a sweet flavor and an aroma all its own, as the “State Fruit.” The state now exports this variety to Dubai and Bangladesh.