Kachchhi Kharek, the indigenous variety of dates of Kutch, has become the second fruit of Gujarat to get a geographical indication (GI) tag from the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDT) of India.
GS III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- Kachchhi Kharek: Cultivating Ancient Dates in Kutch
- Geographical Indications (GI) Tag
Kachchhi Kharek: Cultivating Ancient Dates in Kutch
- Historical Roots: Dating back 400-500 years, the presence of dates in Kachchh is believed to have originated from seeds discarded by settlers who visited the Middle-East for Haj. Arab gardeners working in the palaces of former rulers in Kachchh may have also played a role in importing date seeds and offshoots from Arab countries.
- Cultivation Features: Dates in Kutch are harvested at the khalal stage, characterized by maturity, sucrose accumulation, and a red or yellow color while maintaining crispness. Known for their resilience to salinity and adaptability to extreme drought and heat, the Kutch date season begins on June 15 each year. Unlike other countries, Kutch dates are economically cultivated, marketed, and consumed at the khalal stage.
- Unique Palms and Diversity: Kutch boasts around two million date palms, with 1.7 million being seedling-origin palms of indigenous varieties. As seedling-propagated palms, each represents a unique palm, showcasing extensive diversity in characteristics. Kutch contributes over 85% of total date palm cultivation in India.
- Exclusive Harvest: Kutch is the sole region globally where fresh dates are economically viable, requiring harvesting at the khalal stage due to their susceptibility to moist weather.
Geographical Indications (GI) Tag
Definition and Importance:
- Geographical Indications of Goods indicate the country or place of origin of a product.
- They assure consumers of the product’s quality and distinctiveness derived from its specific geographical locality.
- GI tags are an essential component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and are protected under international agreements like the Paris Convention and TRIPS.
Administration and Registration:
- Geographical Indications registration in India is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- The registration and protection are administered by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DIPIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The registration is valid for 10 years, and it can be renewed for further periods of 10 years each.
Significance and Examples:
- GI tags provide a unique identity and reputation to products based on their geographical origin.
- The first product in India to receive a GI tag was Darjeeling tea.
- Karnataka has the highest number of GI tags with 47 registered products, followed by Tamil Nadu with 39.
Ownership and Proprietorship:
- Any association, organization, or authority established by law can be a registered proprietor of a GI tag.
- The registered proprietor’s name is entered in the Register of Geographical Indication for the applied product.
- Protection and Enforcement:
- Geographical Indications protect the interests of producers and prevent unauthorized use of the product’s name or origin.
- Enforcement of GI rights helps maintain the quality and reputation of the products associated with their specific geographical regions.
Location of the Geographical Indications Registry:
- The Geographical Indications Registry is located in Chennai, India.
-Source: Indian Express