The Matti banana variety, native to Kanniyakumari district was recently granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
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Dimensions of the Article:
- Matti Banana: A Unique Variety
- Geographical Indications (GI) Tag
Matti Banana: A Unique Variety
Matti banana is a distinctive type of banana found in Kanniyakumari, known for its distinct qualities due to the region’s specific climate and soil conditions.
Types of Matti Banana:
- There are six recognized varieties of Matti banana, each with its own distinct features.
- Referred to as ‘Baby Banana,’ it primarily thrives in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks.
- Matti bananas have a unique sweet fragrance and honey-like taste specific to the Kanniyakumari region.
- The fruit’s appearance is unlike typical bananas; the fingers exhibit a wind-blown appearance.
- The fruit’s unique low total soluble solids content (TSSC) makes it suitable for baby food.
- Nal Matti: Displays a yellowish-orange color and fine aroma.
- Theyn [honey] Matti: Its pulp resembles the taste of honey.
- Kal Matti: Named after the calcium oxalate crystals forming in its pulp and the black dots on its skin.
- Nei Matti: Exudes the aroma of ghee.
- Sundari Matti: A Matti clone with elongated fingers, thick peel, and creamy white rind, facing the threat of extinction.
- The unique qualities of Matti banana are intricately tied to the climate and soil of Kanniyakumari.
- While it might grow in other areas, the distinct fragrance and taste of Kanniyakumari’s Matti bananas cannot be replicated.
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: The Hindu