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The Odisha government has applied for a GI tag on Kandhamal Haladi (turmeric variety). The golden yellow spice, named after the district where it is produced, has been cultivated since time immemorial and is known for its medicinal value. The Central Tool Room & Training Centre (CTTC), under MSME ministry, filed the application yesterday with supporting documents and test reports to justify its claim. It was accepted after due scrutiny by the GI Registrar authorities in Chennai, Sachi Kanta Kar, the head of IPFC-CTTC, said. A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. A team of experts, scientists and members of Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM) have carried out research work for over two years on the origin and properties of the turmeric variety with technical guidance from the CTTC and the district administration. "The application, with all supporting documents and test reports, has been filed at GI Registry office, Chennai," Kar said. During field visits and interaction with the farmers, the researchers have collected data that could establish the uniqueness of Kandhamal Haladi - its historic importance and social relevance. More than 60,000 families (nearly 50% of Kandhamal population) are engaged in growing the variety. The crop is sustainable in adverse climatic conditions, Kar said, adding that samples collected from different locations were tested at reputed laboratories for scrutiny. "It was noticed that the Kandhamal turmeric contains special medicinal values.
It has high potentiality, suitable for industrial utility. The colour is golden yellow, well-distinguished from other varieties," he said. The laboratory reports were analysed by the team of experts and other eminent horticulturists at a meeting held at CTTC on January 9. A well-planned business model with modern marketing strategies has also been prepared by KASAM to promote the turmeric variety, Kar said. The GI tag will protect the interests of Kandhamal farmers by enhancing the commercial value of Kandhamal Haladi, he said. The application for a tag on Kandhamal Haladi comes months after the state government had said it would apply for a GI status on its own variety of the sugary and syrupy sweetmeat, rasagolla. The neighbouring West Bengal has obtained the tag for 'Banglar rosogolla' in November.
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