Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are fighting over a breed of black-winged chicken

Both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have filed for Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Indian breed black winged chicken, Kadaknath,

india Updated: Feb 03, 2018 23:50 IST
C B Singh and Punya Priya Mitra
C B Singh and Punya Priya Mitra
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Kadaknath,Geographical Indication,Madhya Pradesh
The Indian breed black winged chicken, Kadaknath is being claimed by both Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh as its own bird.(HT Photo)

A chicken prized for its delicacy has become a bone of contention for two BJP-ruled states with both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh staking claims to call the Indian breed black winged chicken, Kadaknath, its own.

Kadaknath is much in demand not only because of its taste, but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content. Not surprisingly, it sells at around Rs 500 per kg, which is around five times the price of normal broiler chicken. In MP’s Jhabua these birds are marketed by Gramin Vikas Trust (the NGO which runs the cooperatives breeding the bird) in various places in Gujarat, Maharashtra and even south India.

Madhya Pradesh had filed an application with the Geographical Indication (GI) registry office in Chennai in 2012 (Application No 378) saying that Kadaknath originated from Jhabua district. But recently, when news broke that even Chhattisgarh government had also applied for GI tag for the same bird, following success of its breeding project in Dantewada, the Jhabua district administration became alert fearing that it might lose the race for getting the GI tag for Kadaknath to Chhattisgarh.

Jhabua collector Ashish Saxena wrote to the Madhya Pradesh animal husbandry department principal secretary Ajit Kesari on February 2 (HT has a copy of the letter) informing him about the move by the Chhattigarh government and asked the department to take necessary action so that Jhabua gets the GI tag.

Dantewada collector Saurabh Kumar said, “Madhya Pradesh applied for the GI tag in 2012, but they have still not got it. We have applied for GI tag in 2017 for the Kadaknath bird which we are producing in Dantewada. There are various formats of GI, and we have applied it under the breed preservation and conservation section.

“We are not disputing that it originated from Jhabua, but now we are producing around 2.5 lakh Kadaknath brids a year which is much more than what Madhya Pradesh is producing. If Madhya Pradesh gets the GI tag then we won’t be able to call our bird Kadaknath and the women in our self-help groups will lose a lot commercially. So we too have applied.”

People in the Madhya Pradesh animal husbandry department familiar with the developments said that the has redoubled its efforts and it is possible that the state gets the prized tag very soon.

“It is a complicated process and before getting the GI tag we have to answer a lot of queries. One particular problematic query was to get the chicken’s blood tested. Such testing cannot be done in India, and we had to send blood samples abroad,” said an official of animal husbandry department in Jhabua.

Principal secretary animal husbandry Kesari said the government is very serious that the state wins the GI battle over Kadaknath. “We have not received any official intimation from Chennai regarding the claim made by Chhattisgarh. And even if Chhattigarh makes the claim it will have to prove that Kadaknath is from that region which won’t be easy.”

Experts in the field say that if both Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh get the GI tag then the uniqueness of the product will get diminished and so will its price in the long run. (With inputs from Ritesh Mishra)

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 22:32 IST