Seven distinct products originating from Odisha, including the Similipal Kai chutney crafted with red weaver ants and the intricately embroidered Kapdaganda shawl, have been granted the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag, recognizing their exclusive ties to the state.
Geographical Indications signify the origin of a product, emphasizing its quality and distinctiveness rooted in a specific geographic location. In India, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, bestows these GI tags.
A GI registration is assigned to a geographical area, not an individual trader. Once a product secures this registration, authorized traders can apply to market it with the GI logo, each having a unique GI number. Unauthorized sales under the product name can lead to legal consequences under The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
Beyond authenticity, GI tags safeguard the interests of local growers and artisans by preventing unauthorized sales and product duplication. Consumers, guided by these tags, gain insight into certified goods. Here’s a brief overview of the seven distinguished Odisha products:
- Kapdaganda Shawl: Woven and embroidered by the Dongria Kondh tribe’s women in the Niyamgiri hills, the Kapdaganda shawl reflects the rich tribal heritage with symbolic motifs and colors representing nature.
- Idital Paintings: Originating from the Lanjia Saura community in Rayagada district, Idital paintings are ancient tribal art forms adorning mud walls. These white artworks on a crimson-maroon background showcase gratitude towards deities and nature.
- Koraput Kala Jeera Rice: Dubbed the ‘Prince of Rice,’ this black-colored rice variety, resembling cumin seeds, is cherished for its aroma, taste, and nutritional benefits. Tribal farmers in Koraput have preserved this rice for around a millennium.
- Similipal Kai Chutney: A traditional delicacy made with red weaver ants from Mayurbhanj forests, the Similipal Kai chutney is rich in medicinal and nutritional value, believed to boost immunity and prevent diseases.
- Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal: Known for its thorny stems, unique taste, and quick cooking time, this brinjal is cultivated in Nayagarh district. Its resistance to insects makes it a popular choice among growers.
- Khajuri Guda Jaggery: Originating from Gajapati district, this jaggery is extracted from date palm trees, taking a trapezoidal form known as ‘Patali Gur.’ It boasts a distinct dark brown color and unique taste.
- Dhenkanal Magji: This sweet made from buffalo milk cheese, known as Dhenkanal Magji, has unique characteristics in appearance, taste, and nutritional value. Its origin in Mandar-Sadangi area dates back to the British era when buffalo rearing was a significant livelihood.
These GI tags not only authenticate these products but also contribute to the preservation of cultural and traditional practices while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.