Monday, March 9, 2009

Goa's "GI" list growing steadily

With Goan Feni reportedly in the bag, there seem to be a host of other contenders in Goa who are queuing up for the Geographical Indication for Goan products.

Leading the temptuos line-up is the King of Mangoes hailing from beautiful Goa, the "Mancurad". The Mancurad has been known to be a delicacy that Goans do not miss out on come April-May. and the variety is expected to make it to the list fairly easily. Though very delicious, the production of "Mancurad" is on a minimal scale and it has not been commercially exploited.

The Taleigao brinjal and its purple colour is also in consideration in the list to be submitted by the Goa science , technology and environment department besides other delicacies from the agricultural basket of Goa.The Taleigao brinjal which is a much sought after vegetable is currently grown in limited varieties as a horticultural crop and sold in local markets only.People in Goa especially north prepare various delicacies of the vegetable especially the Vaigann bhart ( a roasted brinjal dish).

So while the Mancurad and the purple brinjals of Taleigao are topping the list, the cow-peas( alsane) of Nerul and Cansaulim-Verna, some pepper and ladyfinger varieties from Ponda are also in contention.

There are some varieties of ladyfingers in Goa which are found with seven or nine ridges and this variety is only found in the state of Goa and very few other parts of the country. Also the cow peas( alsane) and some strains of pepper are unique to Goa.

There is also a variety of rice in Goa called "korgutt" which is a hardy red kernel rice which is also under consideration for GI status

Geographical Indication helps to prevent promotion of lesser quality products and protects the interests of stakeholders before the brand is captured by others . Information about these products is being compiled for the purpose of filing applications for GI status.

The endeavors to obtain GI registration is common abroad and products such as Champagne(France) , Tequila( spirits - Mexico) , Jaffa ( oranges) and Bordeaux ( wines) have obtained it. For Goa, the process for obtaining a GI tag for Feni took many years.

In India the government of Himachal Pradesh in northern India was the first to fix a policy for registration of GIs of its state products and its Kulu shawl and Kangra tea have been granted this recognition in 2005 while their government is also considering applying for the status for angoori, a special wine and red rice.

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