PUNE: Seven agricultural products of the state were issued the Geographical Identification (GI) mark this week. Beed’s custard apples, Jalna’s sweet oranges, Jalgaon’s Bharit Brinjal, Waigaon’s turmeric, pomegranate from Solapur, figs from Purandar and raisins from Sangli were issued GI certificates by the Agricultural Geographical Indications.
A GI mark is a name or sign awarded to certain products, according to their nutritional or scientific importance, corresponding to a specific geographical location or origin for it to be recognized on a national level. There is the community’s intellectual property attached to that product.
Earlier this year, seven other products – Ajara Ghansal rice, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri Kokum, Vengurla cashew, Lasalgaon onion, Waghya Ghevda, Mangalvedha jowar and Navapur tur – were awarded the GI mark.
“Most of these products are from rural areas. Their qualities and traditional stories make them special. They are all natural products,” Great Mission Group Consultancy, Pune, chairman Ganesh Hingmire said.
As most of the GI products are from villages, an export market is created for these areas. Moreover, farmers are benefited by this process after they register as authorized users.
Hingmire said Rashtra Krishi Vikas Yojana, former agriculture commissioner Umakant Dangar and the Centre had been instrumental in getting the GI marks.
The custard apples from Balaghat, Beed, were awarded the GI for sweetness coming from the Total Soluble Sugar value, which is more than the apples found in UK and US. The fruit’s speciality is that it grows even in rocky and waterless areas.
Jalana’s sweet oranges stand out for their size, sweetness and juice content. They are also one of the most vital crops for farmers in the area.
Jalgaon’s Bharit Brinjal is grown in parts of north Maharashtra, sharing its border with Gujarat. It’s production was started by an old tribal community. As of today, the brinjal is served as one of the dishes on German airlines, especially Lufthansa.
Waigaon’s turmeric is grown in a small village of Wardha district, which is rich in curcumin content. The curcumin content gives medicinal qualities to turmeric and makes it useful for treating cancer. The standard curcumin content in turmeric is 2-4% by weight and anything over 6% is considered good. A 6.24% by weight curcumin content was found in Waigaon’s turmeric by the Spice Board of India.
Solapur’s pomegranates contain more anti-oxidants than any other variety, which help in fighting cancer causing agents in the body.
Figs from Saswad, Purandar, stand out for its size, colour, taste and high iron content. Moreover, it grows on red soil, which adds to the natural benefits.
The golden-green Sangli raisins melt in one’s mouth and has less wrinkles on the outside, which adds to its taste.
Beed’s custard apple, sweet oranges from Jalna, Jalgaon’s Bharit Brinjal, Waigaon’s turmeric, pomegranate from Solapur, figs from Purandar and raisins from Sangli have been issued certificates of Geographical Identification (GI) mark.
The Agricultural Geographical Indications (Agri GI) has given these certificates to these produce that are being cultivated by generations of growers from these areas.
Earlier this year another set of seven products were awarded this mark. They includec Ajara Ghansal rice, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri Kokum, Vengurla cashew, Lasalgaon onion, Waghya Ghevda, Mangalvedha jowar and Navapur tur.
A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (eg a town, region, or country). There is the community’s intellectual property attached to that particular product.
“Most of these products are from rural areas and it’s their unique qualities, and the traditional stories behind them, that make them special. They have a history and are all natural products,” says Ganesh Hingmire, chairman, Great Mission Group Consultancy (GMGC), Pune.
Securing a GI for a product helps the community in getting a premium price. Since most of these are agricultural products from villages, an export market is created for these places and leads to spurt in international demand for them. Hingmire says that support from Rashtra Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Umakant Dangar, former agricultur commissioner and the Union government have been instrumental in getting these GIs.
These products have been given GI’s for either their nutritional, or scientific importance for which they will now be recognized at the national level. The ultimate beneficiaries of this whole process are the farmers who will now have to get themselves registered as authorized users to be able to avail of the benefits.
The Beed custard apple comes from Balaghat and has got the GI for its sweetness that comes from the Total Soluble Sugar (TSS) value which is more than the apples found in UK and US. This apple grows on rocks. The specialty about the Beed custard apple is that it grows even in rocky, water less areas as that is the suitable atmosphere to grow them.
Jalana sweet oranges stands out from the other oranges because of their size, sweetness and juice content. They are also one of the most important crops for farmers from the area.
Jalgaon Bharit Brinjal that grows in parts of north Maharashtra that shares its border with Gujarat is a natural gift the production of which was started by an old tribal community. The brinjal is now one of the dishes served in German airlines especially Lufthansa. The seeds of this brinjal ooze oil while cooking which adds a particular taste to the dish that makes it different from the rest.