Tamil Nadu

Geographical Indication Tag for Kanniyakumari clove

Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, 08/10/2021: Clove being harvested in an estate in Kanniyakumari district. PHOTO : Handout  

The spices growers of Kanniyakumari have obtained the Geographical Indication Tag for the clove being grown in the hilly regions of the district as it is known for its rich aromatic oil content.

Clove, one of the prominent spice crops of the district, is grown on 760 hectares in the densely wooded areas of Maaraamalai, Blackrock and Velimalai in the Western Ghats of the Veerapuli Reserve Forests and Mahendragiri. The district represents about 73% of the area under clove in Tamil Nadu.

Of the total production of 1,100 tonnes of cloves in India, Tamil Nadu accounts for close to 1,000 tonnes, of which over 65% is grown in the district. “The climate in the hilly regions of Kanniyakumari district is ideal for clove cultivation. This region benefits from both the south-west and north-east monsoons. Also, the ‘sea mist’ comes in and works up the moisture needed for the crop. The black soil here, rich in organic nutrients, is suitable for clove cultivation. This makes the cloves grown in the region unique,” Collector M. Aravind says.

With the highest percentage of volatile oil content present in the clove buds, the crop being grown in the district is much sought-after. The ‘sea mist’ also helps with eugenol. The eugenol acetate content in the oil is higher, lending better aroma and flavour to the clove buds.

“While the typical volatile oil content is about 18%, the volatile oil content in the Kanniyakumari clove buds is 21%, resulting in 86% of eugenol. Furthermore, drying happens naturally at the plantations located at an altitude of about 800 metres and having moderate temperature. This means a limited loss of essential oils and an increase in their concentration,” Mr. Aravind says.

The flower buds, stalks and fallen leaves are used in essential oil preparation. The clove bud and its oils are also used in the medical, pharmaceutical and perfumery industries. The clove buds from Kanniyakumari is preferred for the presence of higher volatile oils.

To get the global recognition for the uniqueness of Kanniyakumari clove, Maaraamalai Planters Association and Blackrock Hill Planters Association made efforts, with the backing of the district administration, for securing the GI Tag. “The GI Tag assigned to the cloves being harvested in the district will rightly convey the value of this product to the international consumers and traders,” Mr. Aravind says.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 2:55:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/geographical-indication-tag-for-kanniyakumari-clove/article36907927.ece

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