Bihar's Mithila Makhana receives GI Tag - Know What is GI Tag and Why and How is it awarded?

Bihar’s Mithila Makhana receives GI Tag: Union Government has awarded GI Tag to Bihar’s Mithila Makhana - foxnuts, a decision which is aimed at boosting farmers’ incomes. Know What is GI Tag and Why and How is it awarded to any item?

Bihar’s Mithila Makhana receives GI Tag
Bihar’s Mithila Makhana receives GI Tag

Bihar’s Mithila Makhana receives GI Tag: Union Government has awarded GI Tag to Bihar’s Mithila Makhana - foxnuts. The decision by the government comes as part of its mission to increase and boost farmers’ incomes. The attribution of the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana will help the farmers who grow the foxnuts get the maximum price for their premium produce. As per the GI Registry certificate, Bihar’s Mithila Makhana has been registered in the name of Mithilanchal Makhana Utpadak Sangh. The decision to award GI Tag to Bihar’s Mithila Makhana was formally announced by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

According to the registration certificate, Bihar state’s Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Champaran, Begusarai, Madhubani and Katihar among other districts have been defined as the geographic location for the production of Mithila Makhana.

What is GI Tag?

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has given a very overarching definition of Geographical Indication or GI tag. It is defined as “A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.” India as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) enforced the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection Act, 1999) in 2003; under which GI tags are attributed to products.

A GI or Geographical Indication is a name, sign or tag which is given to certain products that are found in a specific region or location. The GI tag attribution can be accorded to a product on the basis of its place of origin, geographic location, region, town or country. Another case wherein GI tags are attributed to a product would be related to the production method. Any product that is produced as per a specific traditional method and exhibits certain specific qualities can be also given GI Tag. On similar lines, if a product possesses a particular reputation due to the geographic location of origin, such products can also get a GI Tag.

Generally, GI Tags are accorded to food items, agricultural products, wine and spirits, as well as handicrafts and industrial products. Attribution of GI tag to a particular product will ensure that only registered and authorized users are allowed to use the product name. Simply put, a GI tag conveys that the product is of certain quality and distinctiveness, which can be attributed to its production process which is specific to a geographic location. Any group of producers, organisation or authority, established under law, can collectively apply for GI tag registration, representing the interests of the producers.

Advantages of GI Tag for a Product

  • Exclusive Production and Selling Rights: Once a product or item has been given GI tag attribution, only registered or authorized users can produce and sell it for a period of 10 years.
  • Legal Protection: Attribution of GI marker to a product also provides it legal protection and prevents unauthorised use by others and promotion of exports.

GI Tags Awarded in 2022

In total, around 400+ Indian products have been awarded GI tags. According to reports, Darjeeling Tea was the first product to receive a Geographical Indication Tag in India in 2004. Since then, many famous products from the country have been attributed the GI tag including Basmati rice, Farrukhabad Prints, Lucknow Zardozi and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving. Karnataka has the maximum number of GI-tagged products in India. In 2022, 22 items have received GI tag attribution which includes

GI Tags

Products

Categories

States/UTs

Kashmir Saffron

Agriculture

Jammu & Kashmir

Manipuri Black Rice

Food Stuff

Manipur

Kandhamal Haladi

Agricultural

Odisha

Rasagola

Food Stuff

Odisha

Kodaikanal Malai Poondu

Agricultural

Tamil Nadu

Pawndum

Handicraft

Mizoram

Ngotekherh

Handicraft

Mizoram

Hmaram

Handicraft

Mizoram

Palani Panchamirtham

Food Stuff

Tamil Nadu

Tawlhlohpuan

Handicraft

Mizoram

Mizo Puanchei

Handicraft

Mizoram

Gulbarga Tur Dal

Agricultural

Karnataka

Tirur Betel Leaf (Tirur Vettila)

Agricultural

Kerala

Khola Chilli

Agricultural

Goa

Idu Mishmi Textiles

Handicraft

Arunachal Pradesh

Dindigul Locks

Manufactured

Tamil Nadu

Kandangi Saree

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

Srivilliputtur Palkova

Food Stuff

Tamil Nadu

Kaji Nemu

Agricultural

Assam

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