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Yak Churpi: A Dairy Product from Arunachal Pradesh


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:

  1. Yak Churpi: A Dairy Product from Arunachal Pradesh
  2. 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.

Culinary Uses:

  • 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.

December 2023