By Priyanka Chowdhury
A geographical indication is a label or sign applied to particular products that corresponds to a particular geographic place or origin (such as a town, region, or country) (GI). The intention of a geographical indication may serve as an admission that the product has certain qualities, is produced using traditional techniques, or has a certain importance because of its place of origin.
Recently Assam’s pride, the Gamosa got GI tag but do you know there are 10 more products from the state that has got geographical indication?
Assam (Orthodox) Logo
It falls in the Agricultural type recognition and is the first commodity of Assam to receive GI tag, under the application number 115.Machines are used to roll Assam Orthodox Teas in a way that resembles hand rolling. The majority of specialty tea is produced using traditional techniques. Due to their greater complexity and depth than other teas, orthodox tea is frequently referred to as the champagne of teas. All whole-leaf tea is produced using traditional techniques. The flavour and taste of Heritage Orthodox Teas are well-known. Orthodox and CTC. These two are the starting points, however there are many distinctions beyond that.
Muga Silk of Assam (Logo)
The item to be tagged GI in Assam was the logo of Muga silk under the applicant number 384; any golden silk item having the particular logo, all its rights and patent in terms of export or trade, etc., are with the government of Assam.
The third item to be tagged is Muga, the distinctive golden-yellow silk from Assam, which has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) registration under the applicant number 55. Muga is the first product from the state to receive the GI label; Assam tea varieties and joha, a type of rice with a distinctive aroma, are also in line for such distinction. Muga is made from Antheraea assamensis, a multivoltine silkworm that is semi-domesticated and only found in Assam. Muga is unique in that it is robust and is more lustrous with each wash thanks to its natural golden yellow tones and uncommon sheen.About 180 metric tonnes of muga yarn, valued at about Rs 100 crore, are produced annually in Assam. “In the state, a sizable portion of muga is used to create the ceremonial attire needed for weddings and the Bihu festival. Now, in order to take advantage of the global market, we are looking to reduce its domestic use and pursue value-adding “said N N Rana Patgiri, managing director of Artfed, the top marketing organisation for Assamese weavers and handloom societies. In the last ten years, Artfed has been a leader in the export of muga and other Assam silks to other regions of the world.
Assam Karbi Anglong Ginger
In the Singhasan Hills of the Karbi Anglong area, ginger is farmed as a significant cash crop using the traditional jhum and tila technique. The best organic ginger in the world is grown in the Karbi Anglong region, where more than 30,000 tonnes are typically produced year by about 10,000 farmers. Nadia and Aizol are the two varieties of ginger growing in Karbi Anglong. While Nadia is more fibrous and favoured for home usage, Aizol has less fibre and is manufactured exclusively for export. These kinds are in high demand among domestic and foreign consumers due to their high dry rhizome content and recovery of oleoresin oil. From dried ginger, oleoresin, also referred to as “Gingerin” in commerce, is extracted.For its distinctive qualities, the Karbi Anglong ginger received the Geographical Indication Tag (GI) in 2014–15. Karbi Anglong Ginger is a medium-sized, yellow-skinned rhizome with a shelf life of nine months and is noted for its strong pungency and rich perfume. The raw ginger from Karbi Anglong is sold to the Middle East, Germany, and France in addition to being provided to various regions of India. India is the world’s top producer of ginger, with the state of Assam itself making up a significant portion of the entire production.
The Tezpur Litchi from Assam has been issued the geographical indication (GI) tag, according to the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), even though its name has been on the list of GI tags since 2015. On August 28, 2013, North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. submitted a request for GI labelling (NERAMAC). Assam’s Tezpur Litchi are protected from manufacturing elsewhere by geographical indication (GI) tags, which serve as irrefutable evidence of their state of origin. Litchis from Tezpur are renowned for their superior quality, delectable flavour, juicy pulp, and eye-catching red colour.
Joha rice, also referred to as aromatic rice, is a special natural gift to Assam and was given the GI designation by the GOI in 2016. It is only grown in the Brahmaputra valley. It is renowned for its sweet aroma, exceptionally fine kernels, superior palatability and flavour, and good cooking qualities. The distinctiveness of this rice is mostly related to the special meteorological conditions that are present in the region, together with varietal traits and the rice farming system, which contribute to the product’s best expression of flavour and aroma.Joha rice, commonly referred to as aromatic rice, is a special natural gift to Assam. Only aromatic rice grown in the Brahmaputra valley is referred to be “joha.” Assam produces a variety of rice known as “joha” that is prized for its flavour, scent, and perfume. Farmers in Assam always produce it to make pulao, payas, kheer, and other delicacies in addition to the traditional form. Joha rice is renowned for its sweet aroma, ultrafine kernel, superior palatability and flavour, and exceptional cooking quality. Joha rice from Assam is comparable to expensive Basmati and other scented rice in India, with the exception of elongation ratio. The distinctive characteristics of this rice are mostly attributed to the specific climatic circumstances present in the region, together with the varietal characteristics and system.Boka Chaul-The most recent natural product from Assam to be recognised with the Geographical Indications (GI) tag is the native Boka Chaul (Oryza sativa), also known as Assamese soft-rice. Lower Assam’s Nalbari, Barpeta, Goalpara, Baksa, Kamrup, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, and Darrang districts are where boka chaul is primarily grown. Winter rice, also known as sali, is sown between the third and fourth weeks of June.This native rice type is distinctive in that it may be consumed by soaking it in water at room temperature and requires no fuel to cook. It has a reputation for being nutrient-dense and is popular in the summer since it has a cooling effect. This type of rice is typically used in traditional dishes along with curd, jaggery, milk, sugar, or other ingredients.
The Kaji Nemu, also known as the Assam Lemon, is one of the most important and well-known products (Got the GI Tag) of the north-eastern state of Assam. Assam has up to 16 species and 52 different hybrid citrus cultivars.Kaji Nemu is produced practically yearly and is grown in almost all of the state’s districts. The region’s natural soil is particularly favourable for the cultivation of Assam Lemon in a natural fashion and has a humidity-loving nature. Even when ripe, certain Kaji Nemu (Assam Lemon) trees don’t drop their fruit since they produce seedless fruits with 7 to 9 segments. Kaji Nemu lemons are absolutely distinct from the other types of lemons grown here in terms of their bitter flavour and aroma, and as a result, they are enjoyed in many various ways and in local dishes.Kaji Nemu (Assam Lemon) has an elongated and rectangular shape. It has a strong aroma, a thin, silky peel, and a luscious, soft white pulp. This species of lemon is significantly larger than the typical lemon and is frequently used in food preparations, beverages, and the creation of medications.
In 2019, Chokuwa rice received the Geographical Indication Tag (GI). Many indigenous rice varieties that are unique to Assam and cannot be found anywhere else in the world are known as “unique gifts of nature.” The most well-known kinds include the centuries-old Red Bao, Chokuwa, Bora, and scented Joha rice. The low amylose Chokuwa rice varieties are used to make specialty products like the komal chaul (soft rice), a whole grain food that can be consumed after soaking the rice in cold to lukewarm water. Here, the rice varieties with high and intermediate amylose content are consumed as staple foods. The rare traditional variety of rice with a low amylase level is the troops of the great Ahom kingdom who ate rice of the “soak and eat ” variety that was grown only in Assam. The districts of Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon, Morigaon, and Sonitpur are where the photosensitive and long-lasting (160 days) winter or sali rice types known as Chokuwa rice are farmed.
Judima Rice Beer/Wine
The Dimasa community in Assam’s Judima wine has received the geographical indication (GI) label.The first beverage from the north-east to receive this designation is this wine, which is created from rice and a specific herb.The Assam Agricultural University, in collaboration with the Youth Association for Development and Empowerment (YADEM) in the Dima Hasao district of central Assam, conducted months of documentation before assigning Judima a GI tag.The Dimasa tribe of Assam’s home-brewed Judima rice wine is the first regional traditional beverage to receive a geographical indication (GI) designation. Products with a certain geographical origin are given a GI tag. The awarding of a GI symbol aids in authenticating and promoting indigenous specialties as well as helping to trace the origins of items. The wine takes about a week to create and is made from sticky rice that has been steamed and blended with traditional spices. But it can last for years in storage. The tribe of the same name from the state’s Dima Hasao district is known for making it.
Six years after the initial application, the central government has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) designation to ‘Gamocha’, a representation of Assamese culture and identity. People in the northeastern state cheered when Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal tweeted the Tuesday-issued GI registration certificate on Twitter. A GI is attached largely to manufactured, natural, or agricultural items as well as to handicrafts, industrial goods, and things originating from a specific geographic region.
GI tags are essential for maintaining the distinctiveness of any product that describes or represents the state, and they also aid in the state’s economic development, just like the previously listed things do in our instance. A geographical indicator (GI) is a label applied to goods with a particular geographic origin and characteristics or a reputation derived from that origin. Such a name offers a sense of assurance about quality and individuality that is mostly due to its geographic area of origin.The goods that have the Geographical Indication label in India are regarded as priceless gems of amazing India.A geographical indication right allows the owner of the right to utilise the indicator to forbid a third party from using it.