The Geographical Indications Registry has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Kodaikanal Malai Poondu (Kodaikanal Hill Garlic).
The application was made by the Department of Biotechnology, Mother Teresa Women’s University and Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology. Chinnaraja G. Naidu, the Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications, confirmed that the GI tag has been given to this product. “We will upload the certificate on the website soon,” he said.
Also known by its scientific name Allium Sativum , this particular garlic is known for its medicinal and preservative properties. It has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial potential, which is attributed to the presence of higher amount of organosulfur compounds, phenols and flavonoids compared to other garlic varieties. It is grown in the Kodaikanal Hills, Dindugul district. Its usually white or pale yellow and each bulb weighs 20-30g on an average.
According to the GI application, Kodaikanal Hill Garlic cultivation is done twice in a year, once around May and for second time in November depending upon the suitability of the climate. The hill altitude, the misty condition and the soil prevailing in the Kodaikanal region are responsible for its medicinal property and the long storage shelf life of the garlic.
In India, garlic is planted as both kharif (June-July) and rabi (October-November) crop and it depends on the regions. It is planted as a rabi crop in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bengal and hilly regions. It is both kharif and rabi crop in T.N., Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Potential for more products
Chennai-based IP attorney P. Sanjai Gandhi, who has been instrumental in getting GI tags for several products in Tamil Nadu, lauded the fact that another product from the State has got a GI tag. He suggested an additional protection to agriculture goods will be of more help. “If additional protection is given for products, their market value will go up in the international field,” he said. He also pointed out that more products from Tamil Nadu have the potential to bag GI tag.
A GI tag indicates that the product originates from a definite territory in India and has unique characteristics or quality. Having a GI tag prevents unauthorised use of a registered Geographical Indication by others, boosts exports of Indian Geographical indications by providing legal protection and also enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries. Some of the examples of Geographical Indications in India include Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Kancheepuram silk saree, Alphonso Mango, Nagpur Orange and Kolhapuri Chappal.