In a significant milestone for the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the unique and culturally significant yak milk product, ‘Yak Churpi,’ has been granted the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
GS III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- Yak Churpi: A Dairy Product from Arunachal Pradesh
- Geographical Indications (GI) Tag
Yak Churpi: A Dairy Product from Arunachal Pradesh
- Yak churpi is a dairy product crafted from the milk of the indigenous Arunachali yak breed.
- It is produced by tribal yak pastoralists known as Brokpas who engage in seasonal migration, taking their yaks to high-altitude regions (10,000 ft and higher) during summers and returning to mid-altitude mountainous areas during winters.
Yak Breed in Arunachal Pradesh:
- The remarkable yaks primarily inhabit the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Nature of Churpi:
- Churpi is a naturally fermented dairy product with a rich protein content.
- It is a vital dietary staple for tribal communities residing in the cold and mountainous regions of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Yak churpi serves various culinary purposes. It is used as a vegetable substitute and often incorporated into vegetable and meat curries.
- It is commonly consumed with rice, adding nutritional value to the diet.
GI Tag and Conservation:
- The granting of a Geographical Indication (GI) tag to yak churpi is expected to benefit yak conservation and the socio-economic well-being of yak pastoralists.
- Arunachali yaks are unique in terms of body shape, size, strain, and weight, setting them apart from yaks found in other regions.
- Arunachali yaks hold the distinction of being the only registered yak breed in India.
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.