Kashmiri Saffron given GI Tag: Know what is Geographical Indication (GI) Tag?
You must have heard Mathura's Peda, Agra's Petha, Darjeeling tea, Black rice of Manipur, Banarasi, and Kanjeevaram Sarees are very famous in India by their names and every shopkeeper wants to sell their products with these names. This is called a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
So far, around 361 products in India have received GI Tag. Kashmiri Saffron is the latest which got this tag. The first GI tag was issued to Darjeeling tea in 2004.
What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag?
A geographical indication is a name or mark that is given to, agricultural products' natural and manufactured products (sweets, handicrafts, and industrial goods) of a particular region (country or states or a town). Geographical Indication (GI) tag is given to only those products that are special in quality and unique in features. No one is allowed to use this name other than the region to which this tag is given.
Who Give GI Tag in India?
This tag is issued as per the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. This tag is given by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The Geographical Indication Registry has given GI tag to Kashmiri Saffron on the application of the Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
Why Kashmiri Saffron has to take GI Tag?
Actually, the largest saffron producing country in the world is Iran which cultivates more than 300 tonnes of saffron on 30,000 hectares of land every year. Apart from this, Spain and Afghanistan sell saffron of poor quality at a low price. Due to which the price of Kashmiri saffron has fallen by almost 50%.
Kashmiri saffron is different from saffron in other countries. It is superior in quality due to its high aroma, dark colour, long and thick thread, that is why it has high medicinal value.
But due to the low-quality saffron of Iran and other countries, Kashmiri saffron producers are suffering a lot of losses. Therefore, Kashmiri saffron growers want their saffron to be distinguished in the world so that they get a good price for good quality saffron.
So the Kashmiri saffron will have a unique identity in the market which was possible only after getting the Unique tag i.e. GI recognition.
Benefits of GI tag for Kashmiri Saffron
After getting the GI tag, the producers of Kashmiri Saffron can differentiate their saffron from the low-quality saffron of Iran and other countries. So Kashmiri Saffron producers can charge a bit higher prices to cover the loss.
After the GI tag, the customers will not hesitate to pay higher prices for the good quality Kashmiri saffron. Hence GI tag will not only increase the benefits of the producers but also open the door in the international markets.
Where is Kashmiri saffron Produced?
The Kashmiri saffron is grown at an average height of 1600 m to 1800 m above sea level. It is mainly produced in Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar, and Srinagar. Kashmiri saffron is considered to be of the highest quality in the whole world. The saffron available in Kashmir is of three types:- Lachha Saffron,‘Mongra Saffron, and Guchhi Saffron. Its cultivation is in progress since the first century BCE.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you must have understood what is this GI tag and how the saffron producers in Kashmir will get benefit from this GI tag recognition.