Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 6
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, seeking a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for basmati rice produced in his state.
Chohan said Madhya Pradesh exports high-quality basmati to America and Canada. "In today's meeting with the Union Agriculture Minister, I requested to provide our basmati rice a GI tag as we have been demanding it from a long time."
A GI tag is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to the origin.
The tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness and plays a major role in trade, improving its prospects.
GI tags are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
Recently Kashmiri saffron and Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur, were given the tag, including them in the list of around 370 geographical indications with area-specific qualities like shahi leechi of Bihar, Coorg oranges, navara rice of Kerala, Darjeeling tea and Bangalore rose onion in the agricultural produce category.
Incidentally, the popular handicraft of Punjab, phulkari, also has a GI tag.
Chak-Hao is a scented glutinous rice being cultivated in Manipur over centuries. It is characterised by its special aroma and is normally eaten during community feasts and also used by traditional medical practitioners as part of medicine.
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