MP’s black chicken Kadaknath wins GI tag, beats Chhattisgarh’s claim
Kadaknath is in demand not only because of its taste but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content. It sells at around ₹500 per kg, which is around five times the price of normal broiler chicken.
Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavourful meat and found mainly in the tribal district of Jhabua, trumping Chhattisgarh’s claim over the breed.
The GI certification for the chicken was notified in GI Journal No 104 dated March 28, an official of the Madhya Pradesh animal husbandry department said.
“Thanks to the persistent efforts of the department officials, we have managed to win the GI tag,” said MP animal husbandry minister Antar Singh Arya.
The coveted tag, awarded by the GI registry in Chennai, indicates that a product possesses certain qualities exclusive to its land of origin. Kashmiri pashmina, Darjeeling tea, Kancheepuram silk and Tirupati laddoo have all been granted GIs.
The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use the name Kadaknath while selling any other black chicken and will also translate into higher prices for producers, officials in the animal husbandry department said.
Madhya Pradesh filed an application with the GI registry office in 2012 and the Chhattisgarh government filed its claim in 2017. The news that Chhattisgarh too had applied for the same GI tag had alarmed the Madhya Pradesh government, which redoubled its efforts to ensure its variety won .
“We had prepared well and had given all the necessary proofs, so I was confident of the result,” the minister added.
Kadaknath is in demand not only because of its taste but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content. It sells at about ₹500 per kg, which is around five times the price of normal broiler chicken.
MP commissioner for cooperatives, Renu Pant, said 23-odd cooperatives formed by tribals, or more than 500 people, are engaged in breeding of these birds.
“We have plans to provide loans to all these cooperatives so that they can purchase hatching machines and increase production,” Pant said.
Jhabua collector Ashish Saxena said the administration was planning to increase the sale to 100 birds per day from the present 20, especially after the launch of Kadaknath app, which provides all the details of the variety to buyers.
The Chhattisgarh government had applied for the GI tag following the success of a breeding project in Dantewada.
Dantewada collector Saurabh Kumar said about 120 self help groups (SHGs) are rearing a black chicken variety in Dantewada and 1,600 women are earning a livelihood from selling these birds.
“We will study the decision (of the GI registry) and will try and find out ways in which we can protect the interest of poor tribal farmers of Bastar, who have been successfully breeding this chicken,” Kumar said.
“As long as we are able to sell Kadaknath at good price for farmers, the GI is not an issue and the price will not fall by itself. We will see how this turns out,” he added.
The GI registry recently dismissed Madhya Pradesh’s plea for inclusion of basmati rice grown in the central Indian state.
(With inputs from CB Singh in Jhabua)