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About The Matti Banana

Context:

The Matti banana variety, native to Kanniyakumari district was recently granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Matti Banana: A Unique Variety
  2. 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.

Distinct Characteristics:

  • 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.

Varieties Described:

  • 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.

Regional Significance:

  • 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


March 2024
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