Geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).Recently, Khola Chilly or Canacona Chilli grown in Goa got the GI Tag.
Approved by the Geneva-headquartered World Trade Organization, a GI tag recognises the place of origin of a product and the specific qualities or means of production associated with it. GI Tag acts as a certificate and it is a way of ensuring that similar products from elsewhere cannot be sold under this name.
A GI Tag is valid for a decade, after which it can be renewed for another 10 years.
Who approves GI Tag in India?
In India, the GI tag is governed by the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act which came into being in 1999.This Act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also the Registrar of Geographical Indications.
GI Tags 2020
Khola or Canacona chilly
- Villagers in South Goa’s Khola village are actively involved in the conservation of this traditional variety of chilli that is an indigenous produce. The Khola community was, therefore, honoured for their contribution in conservation and preservation of Khola Chillies through generations by the Indian government, last year.
- The Khola Chilli Cultivators Group responsible in growing these chilies were awarded the Plant Genome Saviour Community Award. The prestigious central government award was bestowed on them by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV and FRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, New Delhi.
- The peculiarity of Khola chilly is that it’s red in colour with medium pungent taste and it is grown on the hill slopes of Canacona.
- A lot of preparation goes before the saplings of the chilly saplings are transplanted by hand immediately after the monsoon strikes in the month of June.
- It is believed that most of the varieties of chillies grown in Goa today were introduced here by the Portuguese, and over the centuries, different hybrid varieties have emerged from what was brought from overseas.
- There are approximately 15 varieties of chilli in Goa ranging from Portugali mirsaang, Tarvotti chilli, Aldona chilli, etc
- The GI tagging of Khola Chilly or Canacona chilli has opened up a huge revenue earning opportunity to the farmers of Khola and other villages like Cotigao, Gaondogrem, Sristhal and Barcem.
- About 2,000 farmers grow Canacona chilli in the region,
- The production is between 100 to 150 tonnes
- Khola Chilly Cultivators’ Group-95% of its members are tribal women.
GI Tags of 2019
In the month of September 2019, the government allotted Geographical Indication (GI) tags to four new products from the states of Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Kerala.
The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently registered GIs for Palani Panchamirtham in Palani Town, Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala.
- Palani Panchamirtham, a ‘prasadam’ or religious offering in temples: Palani Town, Tamil Nadu
- Tawlhlohpuan, is a fine quality fabric woven: Mizoram
- Mizo Puanchei, essentially a shawl, is considered the most colourful textile: Mizoram
- Tirur betel vine valued for its medicinal and cultural usages: Malappuram district of Kerala
- ‘Odisha rasagola’, for the delectable eastern sweet: Odisha
- India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection)Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.
- Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product to get the geographical indication tag. In 2004, the famous beverage got the recognition.
- India has 236 GI products registered so far and over 270 more products have applied for the label.