- There are many products in Kerala to get a GI tag such as Pokkali rice, Tirur Betel vine, Vazhakulam Pineapple, Wayanadan rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala, Central Travancore Jaggery and Chengalikodan Nendran, a banana variety.
- The newest addition to the GI family in Kerala is Nilambur Teak which is known internationally for its elegant appearance and superior timber quality.
- The GI tag was applied by IPR Cell of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) with the support of the Nilambur Teak Heritage Society, the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and the Department of Forests.
- Britishers were first to identify the unique quality of teak from Nilambur plantations and forests. Afterwards, this region became the major supplier of superior quality teak in the world.
- Nilambur was christened the Mecca of Teak because of its superior physical and mechanical properties as well as aesthetic appearance, the teak was exported to England and other parts of the world.
- A railway line was laid down; Nilambur-Shoranur Railway line, for transporting the teak logs.
- However, as the export of Nilambur teak increased, fake products with false tags also started flooding the wood and furniture markets.
- The preparations for registering Nilambur teak were initiated with a workshop of stakeholders organised by Kerala Agricultural University in 2013. The application for GI registration was submitted to the GI Registry, Chennai, in December 2015. The formality of bestowing the GI tag on Nilambur teak is expected at the next sitting of the Registry, scheduled for the end of February.
What is Geographical Indication?
- GI tag is an insignia on products which have a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regards to its special quality or reputation attributes.
- The status given to the products marks its authenticity and ensures that registered authorised users are allowed to use the popular product name.
- Benefits of GI Status
- Legal protection to the products is provided
- Unauthorised use of a GI tag products by others is prevented
- Consumers are helped to get quality products of desired traits
- Producers of GI tag goods through enhanced demand in national and international markets are benefitted economically.
- Legal Authorities associated with GI: Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, it is covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs).
- Also at the international level, GI is governed by World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force in September 2003 governs the GI registration in India. Darjeeling tea was the first product to be accorded with GI tag in India.
– News post compiled by Ritika Ranka