Marayur jaggery finally gets Geographical Indication tag

Persistent efforts by IPR cell of KAU from August 2016 bear fruit

March 07, 2019 11:49 pm | Updated 11:49 pm IST - IDUKKI

The Marayur jaggery has finally got the geographical indication (GI) tag, making it safe for consumption while rejuvenating the traditional way of production and ensuring a safe market in future.

It has been a long-term demand of farmers in Marayur and Kanthallur grama panchayats, where jaggery is produced without adding any chemicals. Though the Marayur jaggery has always been known for its high quality, fake jaggery with a salty taste was being marketed as Marayur jaggery.

It was the persistent efforts made by the Intellectual Property Rights cell, Kerala Agriculture University, from August 2016 that resulted in the jaggery receiving the GI tag.

Global acceptance

C.R. Elsy, coordinator, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cell, told The Hindu on Thursday that it would help get more acceptance in the international market for the product.

However, farmers should maintain the quality. The GI tag would aid in initiating legal action against fake jaggery being sold as Marayur jaggery.

The GI tag was given after considering its quality and speciality, she said, adding that it was announced on the IP India website on March 5.

Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar was instrumental in taking the steps for getting the GI tag.

Mr. Sunil Kumar said the GI tag was received at a time when fake jaggery made using chemical properties was being marketed as Marayur jaggery.

The GI tag would help prevent the fake product, he added.

The dark brown Maryur jaggery is handmade at household units in Marayur and Kanthallur.

It has high sweetness with less saltiness, high content of iron and less sodium. The produce is free of impurities and the sugar cane fields are free of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

There were complaints from farmers that fake jaggery from Tamil Nadu was being marketed as Marayur jaggery. It resulted in fall in prices.

Santhoshkumar, a medium-level sugar cane farmer, said it was lack of market for the Marayur jaggery that resulted in the price fluctuations.

Farmers were forced to shift to other crops because of continued low prices. He said there was hope now and sugar cane cultivation would be taken up again.

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