GUWAHATI, April 1 – The ginger produced in the Singhasan Hill of Karbi Anglong district and the litchi produced at Lichu Pukhuri in Tezpur town and at Porowa near this north bank district headquarter town of Sonitpur, have been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) rights by the GI Registry of India, bolstering the commercial prospects of these two agricultural items of the State.
According to the GI Registry, the serial number for GI registration of Karbi Anglong ginger is 226 and its application number is 435, while the serial number of Tezpur litchi is 230 and its application number is 438. Both the items were accorded GI registration in the period between April 2014 and March 2015, – November 25, 2014 for Karbi Anglong ginger and November 27, 2014 for Tezpur litchi.
The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMAC) was the applicant for GI registration of both the items and on August 29, 2013 the applications for the purpose were filed to the GI Registry.
Besides the above two, seven other agricultural items from the NE region, namely Naga Tree Tomato of Nagaland, Arunachal Orange of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim Large Cardamom of Sikkim, Mizo Chilli of Mizoram, Tripura Queen Pineapple of Tripura, Khasi Mandarin of Meghalaya and Kachai Lemon of Manipur were also accorded GI Registration rights by the GI Registry during the said period.
According to the statements of case filed by the NERAMAC for Karbi Anglong ginger and Tezpur litchi before the GI Registry, ginger (Zingiber Officinale Rosc) is an important member of the Zingiberaceae family. It is one of the important cash crops and spices grown in India and in many other tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. India exports ginger to over 50 countries, particularly to the Middle East.
NE India is considered an important ginger growing area, ginger is cultivated as a cash crop, mainly in the jhum fields spread over the hills and plains of the tribal dominated areas of the entire region.
Karbi Anglong produces the best organic ginger in the world. Growers of Karbi Anglong produce mainly two varieties of ginger-Nadia with high fibre and Aizol with less or no fibre. Aizol is more in demand and has negotiating value in domestic as well as international markets.
It is considered that the Karbi Anglong Ginger exists from the time of carving out the Karbi Anglong District of the State in 1951. Ginger is grown in Singhasan Hills, Khonbamon area. With the inception of the Ginger Growers' Cooperative Federation Ltd (GINFED), Karbi Anglong Ginger got its popularity. The demand for organic ginger produced in Karbi Anglong is phenomenal. Ginger of Karbi Anglong has found a market also in Germany.
The average annual production of ginger by the farmers of Karbi Anglong is 30,000 tonnes and about 10,000 farmers are involved in growing this item.
Tezpur Litchi is also grown completely under organic condition. It is an attractive item of the fruit markets of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, among others. The popular varieties of litchi grown in Tezpur include the Bombaya, Bilayati, Desi, Elachi, Piyaji and Chinese. The five-bigha litchi orchard of the Lichu Pukhuri was set up by noted litterateur Late Padmanath Gohain Baruah between 1922 and 1924, while he was the chairman of the Tezpur Municipal Board. It has 26 litchi trees.
At Porowa, about 400 bighas of land are covered by litchi farming. The Porowa litchi orchard was started by Late Surjya Prasad Shing in 1954. Litchis from Porowa are exported to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Rajasthan and also to United States of America. About 50 farmers are involved in the Porowa litchi orchards.