The Union government has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to 9 products from across the country, including the Gamosa of Assam; Alibag White Onion from Maharashtra; Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot; and Attappady Aattukombu Avara, among others. Of the 9 GI tags given, five were for products from Kerala. With this, the total number of registered GI products in India stands at 432.
The GI tag for Gamosa of Assam was granted to the Directorate of Handloom & Textiles, Guwahati. This is a traditional textile having great significance for the people of Assam. In all rituals related to puja and ‘nam prasang’, Gamosa is wrapped around the neck by both men and women. Men use Gamosa as headgear while working in the paddy field or in a kitchen garden. And during Bihu, the young offer Gamosa to elders as a mark of respect.
The Alibag White Onion, a traditional variety of white onion in Alibag tehsil of Raigad district in Maharashtra, was also given a tag. This particular onion does not have a strong odour like the standard onion commonly available in the market. It has a sweet taste, different from other onions.
The Tandur Redgram, which was also awarded a GI tag, is a traditional crop in the rain-fed tract of the Telangana region. It contains about 22-24% protein, which is almost three times that of cereals. Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot has a unique seed. The world over, apricot fruits have brown seed stones. However, the seeds of Raktsey Karpo fruit have white seed stones.
The Attappady Thuvara is an important traditional crop of the Attappady tribal area in Palakkad district, Kerala. It is a woody shrub, generally grown as an annual crop. The Kerala government has formulated a special scheme for Attappady under the Attappady Millet Village programme to conserve the traditional crops of the area for securing the livelihood of tribal people.
Kanthalloor Vattavada Veluthulli (garlic) was also among the products which bagged the tag. The major areas of cultivation are Kanthalloor and Vattavada panchayats. Traditional garlic grown in these areas is known for its unique flavour, pungency, taste, medicinal properties and longer shelf life compared to garlic from other regions. Two main local types of garlic grown in Kanthalloor and Vattavada region are Sigappuppoondu (sometimes called Singapoondu) and Malaippoondu
Kodungallur Pottuvellari (Kodungallur snap melon), cultivated for its fully matured fruit which is used for making juice, was also granted a tag. In some States, it is used as a vegetable. In summer, Pottuvellari juice stalls are a common sight on the road in Kodungallur, Thrissur, Paravur and Ernakulam.
The Attappady Aattukombu Avara, cultivated by tribal farmers, and Onattukara Ellu, which is one of the ancient and traditional annual oilseed crops cultivated in Onattukara region of Kerala, have also been given tags.
A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a sign used on products which have a specific geographical origin and qualities or reputation that are attributable to that origin