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GI tag helps protect ownership of Lakadong turmeric: Ampareen

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SHILLONG, FEB 20: Minister in-charge Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Ampareen Lyngdoh on Tuesday geographical indication (GI) tag status accorded to Lakadong Turmeric stands to safeguard traditional methods and knowledge, ensuring that only farmers and growers within the designated geographical area, utilizing traditional method, can use the GI tag.

“The tag also serves as a unique selling point for farmers and sellers to differentiate their products in the market, potentially leading to higher prices and increased demand, especially in niche markets and lucrative markets for high-quality products,” Lyngdoh said while replying to a zero hour notice moved by VPP legislator from Nongkrem Ardent M Basaiawmoit during the Assembly.

After a series of hearings and clarifications, the Registrar of GI in Chennai officially awarded the GI tag no 741 to Lakadong turmeric for East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts on November 29, 2023.

The application was made by Lakadong Turmeric Cooperative Union Limited, Jowai and facilitated by Directorate of Horticulture, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

Lyngdoh informed that it was reported that various buyers were engaged in the procurement of Lakadong turmeric seeds for undertaking production in other states and further selling it as ‘Lakadong Turmeric’ which creates consumer confusion and tarnishes the image, quality, and unique characteristics of Lakadong turmeric. Consequently, this can lead to brand dilution and significant financial losses for the Lakadong turmeric farmers.

“Taking cognizance of this issue, a notification was issued by the department prohibiting the sale of Lakadong turmeric seeds for production outside of the Jaintia Hills region,” she said while adding that all these interventions have successfully revitalized Lakadong turmeric farming in the Jaintia Hills region with over 13 times increase in the number of farmers engaged in turmeric cultivation. The focussed initiatives are in line with the vision of doubling farmers’ income and have enabled the Lakadong turmeric farmers to command remunerative prices.

“Therefore, there is a need to protect the ownership of Lakadong turmeric and benefit the farmers for which the government has taken the best possible steps,” she said.

Further, Lyngdoh said that the government of Meghalaya is committed to promoting and marketing the quality produced from the state and intends to continue pursuing GI tags for various products.

“This will enable the state to bring out the unique offerings on the global stage while also increasing farmer incomes and stimulating the local economy,” she asserted.

Also Read: Ranji Trophy : Meghalaya becomes runner up at the BCCI Ranji Trophy Plate Group Finale

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