5 more GI tags for Maharashtra

Marathwada's Kesar mango, Dahanu Gholwad chikoo, Jalgaon banana, Mulshi Ambemohar rice and Bhiwapur chilli on Saturday joined the list of agricultural products from the state to get geographical identification (GI) certificates.
A GI is a name or sign used on certain products that corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin, such as a town, region or country. It indicates a community's intellectual property attached to that particular product.
“It took three years and six months to get GIs for these products. Getting a GI means that the product's uniqueness has been verified by an expert committee of the Government of India,“ said Ganesh Hingmire, chairman of Great Mission Group Consultancy, which has worked to secure the certification.
A GI helps the community get a premium price for the product, such as the world-renowned Darjeeling tea. The tag creates a distinct identity, assures the buyers of quality, brings reputation to the product and creates an international market for it.
The Marathwada Kesar mango is one of the sweetest varieties of the fruit and its export has been promoted. Its total soluble sugar content has been proved to be high. “The variety is also found in Junagarh in Gujarat, but the taste is different since the area is close to the sea. The Marathwada mangoes are sweeter due to the dry condition,“ Hingmire said.
The plantation of the Dahanu Gholwad chikoo was started in 1888. The fertility of the soil and the availability of the fruit throughout the year makes it unique. Jalgaon is known as the capital city of bananas and the quality of fruit from the area is different because of the proximity to Tapi river. “The minerals and fibres in the fruit lend it a unique quality, which makes the Jalgaon soil unique for banana cultivation. The area also produces the highest quantity of bananas in the country,“ Hingmire added.
Mulshi Ambemohar rice has been known in the area by that name for centuries and also has a Peshwa history attached to it. It is cooked as a special dish in most households in the area. “It is called so because it smells like mango blossom. Its nutritional value makes it stand out from the other rice varieties. It needs protection and promotion for its nutritional value,“ he said.
The Bhiwapur chillies from the Nagpur and Vidarbha area are stark red in colour, but do not give any gastric problems.
The GI tag will create an immediate export market for these agricultural products, most of which are from villages. The products will be recognized for their nutritional or scientific importance at the national as well as global level. The ultimate beneficiaries of this will be the farmers, once they register themselves as authorized users.

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