.........BHUBANESWAR: As Odias continue to await State Government’s action on geographical indication (GI) tag for the savoury sweet after West Bengal bagged the honours for Banglar Rasogulla last year, Kandhamal Haladi (turmeric) appears to have has stolen a march.
The Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM) on Thursday filed an application with GI Registrar at Chennai seeking GI tag.
The Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC) of Central Tool Room and Training Centre (CTTC), Bhubaneswar filed the application on behalf of KASAM, Phulbani. It was accepted after due scrutiny by the GI Registrar authorities.
The application had all the supporting document and test reports required for GI tag, Head of IPFC-CTTC Dr Sachi Kanta Kar said. The CTTC, an agency under the Ministry of MSME, deputed P Karthigeyan of the IPFC cell for the exercise.
For the last two months, Kar said, the IPFC has been carrying out the exercise by involving Deputy Director Horticulture, Kandhamal, KASAM office-bearers under the guidance Kandhamal Collector.During field visit, the team interacted with farmers, research scientists and reviewed technical investigation reports as well as historical data pertaining to uniqueness of Kandhamal Haladi. Its production methodology, social, traditional and religious connectivity were found to be of high importance and many significant information were generated.
Kandhamal Haladi is organic and is cultivated since ages. Currently, more than 60,000 families, about half the population of Kandhamal, is engaged in its cultivation. It is environmentally resilient and grows in adverse climatic conditions.
Kar said samples collected from different locations were tested by reputed laboratories for technical and scientific investigation. “The tests found that Kandhamal Turmeric contains special values having high potential for medicinal and industrial use.
While it is easily distinguished from other varieties, its property such as curcumin, oleoresin and volatile are very much useful for household, cosmetic and medicinal use. A technical evaluation committee, comprising research scientists, IP experts, agriculturists, horticulturists and technologists, met on January 9 to review the test reports and discuss the geographical significance and property analysis in order to establish the uniqueness of the turmeric.Well-planned business model and modern marketing strategies to promote and create global market opportunities have also been chalked out by KASAM.
Kar said the process of further review of documents, investigation and grant of GI tag will undergo different stages which may take a year or more depending on technicality and other issues.
“The technical requirement and exhaustive exercise done by KASAM and CTTC to meet GI grant primarily seems adequate,” he added. The grant of GI Tag will help protect interest of Kandhamal farmers and enhance commercial value which will contribute towards better earning and livelihood of farmers engaged in its cultivation.