After losing battle for Rosogolla, Odisha turmeric gets GI tag

Updated on Apr 01, 2019 05:36 PM IST
A tribal girl in Odisha’s Kandhamal district harvesting Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) .(HT PHOTO)
A tribal girl in Odisha’s Kandhamal district harvesting Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) .(HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty

Odisha may have lost the Geographical Indication tag for Rasagola to neigbouring Bengal, but it can rejoice now after Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) named after central Odisha district of Kandhamal, where it is organically grown by tribals, received the GI tag on Monday.

“We received the final certificate for GI tag from the Geographical Indications Registry office today through mail. The certificate is a huge achievement for the tribals of Kandhamal. This would help in marketing of the turmeric to a bigger audience,” said Sanjit Patnaik, secretary of Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM), a society of tribal turmeric growers of Kandhamal district. The Central Tool Room & Training Centre under the MSME Ministry had filed the application on behalf of KASAM in January 2018.

Last November, the Registrar of Geographical of India had advertised Kandhamal Haldi for being eligible for GI tag in the Geographical Indications journal. The Registrar had then given notice to public under Rule 41(1) of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Rules, 2002. As there was no objection to Kandhamal Haldi getting GI tag, the Registrar completed the process on March 30.

The Geographical Indication tag is used to identify agricultural, natural or manufactured goods originating in a particular area. Kandhamal Haldi has been placed under Class-30 type.

The GI tag for the Kandhamal turmeric comes just over a year after Odisha lost the battle for GI tag of Rasagola, the popular spongy sweet to Bengal.

Grown organically, the turmeric of Kandhamal is used as chief ingredient for making of beauty soap, beauty cream, medicinal soap due to its high antimicrobial and anti‐inflammatory property. Its highanti-carcinogenic quality has led pharma companies to use curcumin and oleoresin from turmeric to prepare medicine and ointments. The leaf of Kandhamal turmeric is mainly used in a Odia cuisine “Enduri Pitha” which gives a pungent flavour and taste to the dish.

KASAM started in September 1998 has over 12000 farmers of Kandhamal as its members. It markets the organic turmeric, the main cash crop of the poor tribal farmers of the district. Annually about 16,000 hectare area are covered by organic turmeric by about 60,000 farmers with an annual production of about 40,000 metric tonne.

Though Odisha did not get the GI tag for Rasagola, it has so far received GI tag for 15 of its items including two agricultural products. The products include Kotpad’s handloom fabric, Odisha Ikat saree, Khandua, Gopalpur’s Tussar cloth, Pipili appliqué, Pattachitra, Konark stone work, Sambalpur Bandhasaree, Bamkei Saree, Habaspur saree, Brahmapur Pattasaree and Joda and Ganjam’s Ketaki flower.

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