After the Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of famous Kashmir saffron, the government of J&K is mulling to get the registration for six other products including Gucchi mushroom, various varieties of Kashmiri rice, honey, Kala Zeera and famed red chilli.
An official said that they are getting these products GI tagged which are widely known for their quality in J&K, a move the government believes will help get these products recognition and will help in e-marketing of the products at International level. The officials said that the move will help get these products on the online retail market, a step they believe will 'hugely' benefit the farmers of the UT.
"The GI powered saffron got wide acceptance and helped the overall recognition of the product and in preserving its quality as well. Other products that we are going to include are Kashmir's indigenous rice types, Honey, and few spices. The GI tagging is vital to get legal protection to the product," said a senior official.
The officials said that among these products the GI tag has been sought for Gucchi mushroom which is widely grown in J&K's Doda and is one of world's costliest food mushrooms with huge medicinal benefits.
"Regarding Gucchi Mushroom, the process is in its final stages as J&K administration has submitted an application with the GI registration, Chennai," said the official.
While Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Choudhary Mohammad Iqbal said that along with Government initiative of getting the famous DodaGucchi mushroom GI tagged, the department has completed all the formalities to get six other products in the list.
"These products include 3 indigenous rice types of Kashmir which are Mushk Budji rice grown in Anantnag, Zag rice (Red rice) grown in Karna and Lolab belt and also Kashmir rice which we are going to call Meetha rice. In addition to this we have put Kashmiri honey in the list and also Kashmir Kala Zeera and Kashmir red Chili. Once we are done with GI tagging, it will help us to sell the product in the international online market giving a boost to farmers. GI tagging of the product is a must in case of online retail and international e-marketing. These products are available in their best qualities in Kashmir and we have signed many MoUs with different organizations so that these products will get recognition and the farmers will get best benefit from them," Choudhary said.
He also said that the GI tagging of saffron was a successful step towards the growth of the product. He said that they received orders from Bahrain and other places soon after the GI tagged saffron was put out in the international market.
Last year in July, the government of India had issued GI registration for Kashmiri saffron. The GI tag concept was introduced in 2013. The tag is given to foods, natural and agricultural and handicrafts to give the origin of the product and the product itself its identity. These tags are given under the act of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.