Alphonso from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane and
Raigad districts of Western Maharashtra, is registered as Geographical
Indication or a GI is an indication used on products that have a specific
geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that
origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which
is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical
locality. Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur,
Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.
The king of
mangoes, Alphonso, better known as ĎHapusí in Maharashtra, is in demand in
domestic and international markets not only for its taste but also for pleasant
fragrance and vibrant colour. It has long been one of the world's most popular
fruit and is exported to various countries including Japan, Korea and Europe.
New markets such as USA and Australia have recently opened up.
GI products can
benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of
artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen. Our rural artisans possess unique
skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from
generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the logo and tagline for the
Geographical Indications (GI) of India and said that the GI will give the
rightful share in the intellectual property to the artisan and the place of
origin of the product. He emphasised that itís an area of strength and optimism
for India, whereby GI tag has given protection to a large number of hand-made and
manufactured products, especially in the informal sector.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has taken
several initiatives in this regard and is actively involved in promotion and
marketing of GIs with a vision to enhance the horizon both socially and
economically for GI producers.
The first product
to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004. There are a total of
325products from India that carry this indication.