Introduction: A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a name or sign which is given on products having a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation of that region. The geographic origin can be a town or a particular region of a country. The use of a geographical indication acts as a certification which guarantees that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, and enjoys a certain reputation due to its geographic origin. It can be used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having a special quality and reputation. It plays a very vital role to increase the realm of the market both domestically and internationally. It boosts exports as well as tourism and most importantly, it indirectly leads to sustainable development. The owner of the GI tag gets exclusive right over the product and prevents others to claim ownership of that product.
Kandhamal Haldi or turmeric primarily cultivated in Kandhamal district of central Odisha, where it is grown organically by tribals has received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag. It is used in a wide variety of cuisines. Moreover, it has numerous healing properties and an attractive aroma. The oleo resin and oil content of Kandhamal haldi is more than other varieties of turmeric. It has a high
History: The Indian state of Odisha contains the district of Kandhamal. Phulbani serves as the district’s administrative centre. The geographical indication (GI) designation for Kandhamal Haldi, locally known as “Kandhamal Haldi,” was granted by Intellectual Property India, an agency working under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s auspices (India). It is a region teeming with wildlife, including birds and wild animals.
When Granted: Kandhamal Haldi received the final certificate for GI tag from the Geographical Indications Registry on 1st April 2019. The Central Tool Room and Training Centre under the Ministry of MSME had filed the application on behalf of KASAM (Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing), a society of tribal turmeric farmers of Kandhamal district in January 2018. It is considered big achievement as it will help in marketing of the turmeric in domestic and international markets. It has been placed under Class-30 type.
Usage: Kandhamal Haldi has multiple uses:-
i) Industrials Uses: It has antimicrobial and anti‐inflammatory aspects which is essential and is used
in many cosmetic industries as a chief ingredient for making of beauty soaps, beauty creams,
medicinal soaps, etc. Since it has high anti carcinogenic content, it can be used by medicinal
companies which are engaged in extraction process of curcumin and oleoresin from turmeric to
prepare medicines and ointments.
ii) Non‐Industrial Uses: For domestic use, turmeric is used in foods which give a rich colour and
flavour. It is mainly added when curry, dal, rice, pickle etc are prepared.
iii) Medicinal uses: It has healing as well which helps in purifying the blood and is considered good
Intention of GI: GI is a label applied to goods with a particular geographic origin and traits or a reputation that are attributable to that origin. Such a name offers a sense of assurance about quality and individuality that is mostly due to its geographic area of origin.
According to the legal requirements of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and
Protection Act), 1999, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registrar of Geographical
Indications) (under the Union ministry of commerce and industry) grants GI tags in India.
In general, geographical indications are protected in various national and regional systems utilising
a wide range of strategies, frequently combining two or more of the strategies mentioned above.
These strategies were created in accordance with various legal traditions and under the constraints
of unique historical and economic circumstances.
Uniqueness: Following are the uniqueness:
1. Organic way of cultivation:- Kandhamal haldi is primarily cultivated by the tribals of the district in an organic manner following primitive and traditional way of cultivation without involving use of fertilizers or pesticides.
2. Religious rite of tribal farmers:- Growing turmeric is closely associated with religious rites and
cultural practices of the tribals which they believe will improve the production and colour of
3. Means of livelihood: – Cultivation of Kandhamal turmeric involves of more than 60000 families and their means of livelihood is dependent on farming
4. Environmental resilient: – Since the cultivation of turmeric is through organic means , it is
5. Less cost of production suitable for marginal farmers: – Cultivation of turmeric involves less cost
which makes it suitable for small and marginal farmers.
6. Sustainability in adverse climatic conditions:- This is one of the unique features where it can be
seen that Kandhamal haldi can sustain adverse climatic conditions
7. Technical aspects of uniqueness:- There are certain technical aspects that adds to Kandhamal
Haldi’s uniqueness which are as follows:-
i) Colour: It is having a golden yellow colour which makes it unique and different from other local
varieties of turmeric in Odisha
ii) Content : It has following contents like curcumin (3.2‐ 4.2%), oleoresin‐ (12.5 %), oil‐( 5‐6%)
iii) It is suitable for house hold use, making cosmetics and medicinal uses
iv) It’s pungent taste is unique from other local varieties.
Legal Aspect: Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) of Odisha got the GI tag as the Geographical Indications under sub- section (1) of Section 13 of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The GI tag is awarded by the India Patent Office and this Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications and is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
This Act defines GI under Section 1(e) as, "Geographical Indication in relation to goods, means an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating or manufactured in the territory of a country or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality reputation or other characteristic of such good is essentially attributed to its geographical origin and in case where such goods are manufactured goods, one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region on locality as the case may be”.
The registration of GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed. Violation of GI tags is considered as a punishable offense under the law. GI is covered as an element of intellectual
property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property. Internationally, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
In November 2018, the Registrar of Geographical of India had promoted Kandhamal Haldi for being eligible for GI tag in the Geographical Indications journal. Thereafter the Registrar gave a notice to public under Rule 41(1) of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.
Inspection Body: Following are the points:
i) The inspection Body is headed by the Collector & Dist. Magistrate, Kandhamal
ii) The committee meets every six months to evaluate periodically the characteristics and to take
necessary actions to maintain the quality standards of Kandhamal haldi.
iii)The President of KASAM, a society of tribal turmeric farmers of Kandhamal district has the power
to reconstitute the committee as and when required and the decision of the President will prevail.
The Inspection structure comprises of the following members having adequate knowledge in
inspection and quality control mechanism:-
i) One representative from the Department of Horticulture, Govt. of Odisha (Vice-President of
ii) Two representatives from KASAM
iii) One representative from National Agriculture Research Institutes
iv)One representative from Agriculture Universities/ Medical Research Institutes
v) One representative from the State Forest Department.
vi) Two farmers from the association of KASAM
vii) Representatives from MSME Department of state or Central Govt / IP Facilitation Centre
How will it help?: The GI tax will benefit the state’s weavers by giving them access to a global market for their goods and by promising them a better standard of living and income.
By boosting the incomes of farmers, artisans, weavers, and craftspeople, GI products can help the rural economy in isolated places. The traditional knowledge and skills that India’s rural craftsmen have been passed down from generation to generation are unique and should be safeguarded and promoted. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is actively involved in the promotion and marketing of GIs and has launched a number of measures in this regard.
(a) Advantage over rivals: This means that the product, Betel leaves will stand separate
from other wraparounds that are usually sold in the market. Alongside, this shall stand
unique and the raw materials shall remain the same and no changes shall be applied, as if any new article is added in the list of raw materials, then a new product shall be prepared and not Betel leaves.
(b) Increasing the value of a product: This means that the product, Betel leaves can be
marketed and be sold anywhere, including in the e-commerce platform. Huge amount of revenue
can be generated by the people of the state of Mizoram and hence improve the GDP of the nation.
Alongside, people shall pay any amount to get the authentic taste of the product.
(c) More chances for export: This means that, the product, Betel leaves, shall have a huge
change of getting exported, as it’s available in the e-commerce platforms as well. It shall be
purchased by those people who are living in the overseas, and wish to try the wraparound product. Due to this, a huge amount of revenue is added, and the nation generates a lot of foreign currency as well.
(d) A more robust brand: This means that Betel leaves, has rich flavour and it can never
lose its authenticity. The richness of the taste shall remain firm for years to come.
(e) Can be sued: This means that, the maker can sue the person who is not an authorised user, and therefore, civil or criminal remedies can be seeded for. In case of civil remedy, injunction can be applied, or damages can be claimed, or may be the delivery of the infringing labels and the indications that are contained in that product.
(f) Quality control: A regional certification mark can be a viable choice if there is enough resources to create and operate a certifying organisation. A collective mark might be a viable choice if there is enough money to keep up a reliable, official certification mechanism and the producers can band together. Quality control requirements would be applied in this framework as conditions for continuing to use the collective mark and remain a member of the collective.
Revenue: There are numerous benefit associated with GI products which are as follows:-
i) It provides legal protection to the products.
ii) It prevents unauthorised use of GI tag products by others.
iii) It helps consumers to get best quality products having assured authenticity.
iv) It helps to increase the economic prosperity of producers of GI tag goods by enhancing their
demand in domestic and international markets.
Some developments observed in rural areas associated with GI goods are:
i) The supply chain is structured around a common product reputation.
ii) It ensures increased and stabilised prices for the GI products.
iii) Distribution takes place through all the levels of the supply chain which indirectly adds value
iv) Natural resources can be preserved on which the product is based as sustainable means of
cultivation are adopted
v) It helps to preserve ancient traditions and traditional expertise.
vi) It helps to boost tourism.
Yearly about 16,000 hectare of land is being cultivated by organic haldi by approximately 60,000
farmers having an annual output of 40,000 metric tonnes. Turmeric cultivation generally begins in
the month of April and the plant is harvested from December to March. Thereafter the farmers are
ready to sell their produce by mid-March and April. Turmeric is usually sold at Rs 60 per kg normally
at Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM), a state government-backed
Conclusion: GI is an important tool to protect the Intellectual Property rights associated with agricultural products and foodstuffs originating in specific geographical locations. Recently there are considerable efforts made by various institutions and agencies in India that ensures legal protection for Indian products which got GI tag. Moreover, sufficient promotional strategies are necessary to popularise GI tagged products and to derive benefits from its commercial potential. The unique cultural aspects associated with GI for rural communities needs to get highlighted. GI tagging of foodstuffs should be restricted to those foodstuffs which are historically produced only in a specific region and are not the same when produced elsewhere. Besides, generic recipes for food stuffs should not be granted GI tags as they can be replicated anywhere in the world.
Sources: Following are the sources:
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