Pune: Armed with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, mango growers from the Konkan region may now heave a sigh of relief as attempts of selling mangoes produced in other states, including Karnataka, as Konkan Alphonso will soon be recognised as an offence under the Geographical Indication, Registration and Protection Act, 1999.
Mangoes produced here will be officially recognised as Konkan Alphonso after the GI tag. This is a result of a long legal battle put together by mango growers associated with four different associations to prevent farmers from other states from selling mangoes produced there as Ratnagiri or Devgad Alphonso. This legal battle went on for over four years.
The controller of patent, design, trademark and registrar of geographical indication announced on Thursday that the GI may be granted to mangoes produced in the coastal districts of Maharashtra as ‘Konkan Alphonso’. Similarly, mangoes produced in Ratnagiri and Devgad will be indicated as Ratnagiri and Devgad Alphonso, respectively.
Omprakash Gupta, Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, told Sakal Times that following the subsequent compliance of necessary requirements, a GI may be granted to Alphonso of Konkan Maharashtra.
Gupta added, “We have asked the applicant, the Dapoli Agriculture University, to make changes in their original application as they have requested that GI for Konkan Alphonso be granted to mangoes produced in the larger area. Similarly, growers from Ratnagiri and Devgad will be allowed to add a suffix of their region to the prefix Konkan Alphonso.“
Ganesh Hingmire, GI expert who is responsible for getting Alphonso a Geographical Indication, told Sakal Times that it will be a major win for mango growers from the coastal Maharashtra, who were suffering from heavy losses as mangoes grown in other states were being sold as Ratnagiri or Devgad Alphonso. Hingmire is responsible for winning GI tags for 25 different items from the State, including Puneri Pagadi, Paithani, Mahableshwar Strawberry, Mangalwedha Jawar and Navapur Turdal.
Sharad Paranjape of Kelshi Parisar Amba Utpadak Sangh said with the GI tag, mango growers from Ratnagiri, Palghar, Thane, Raigad and Sindhudurg will be able to register a case against those who attempt to sell mangoes from other states as Konkan Alphonso.
Paranjape said Ratnagiri district alone produces over one lakh tonnes of mangoes while over 3 lakh hectares of land is under mango cultivation. He said over 20,000 small and big mango growers are dependent on the trade of mangoes.
Four different associations namely -- the Konkan Amba Utpadak Sangha supported by the Kokan Krushi Vidyapeeth, the Kelshi Parisar Amba Utpadak Sangh, the Devgad Amba Utpadak Sangh and the Konkan Amba Utpadak Sangha from Panvel had filed applications for the GI tag.
Omkar Sapre, Board Member of Devgad Taluka Mango Growers Cooperative Society (DTMGCS) Ltd said that the GI authority has approved existence of Ratnagiri and Devgad Alphonso under the umbrella term ‘Alphonso mangoes’. “GI authority has asked us to merge three different application filed by Konkan Agriculture University, Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Limited and Kelshi Parisar Amba Utpadak Sangh representing mango growers from Ratnagiri till April 24,’’ he added.
Sapre added that the notification regarding the award of Geographical indication to Alphonso will be published in GI journal and it will be awarded after a mandatory period of two months for accept objections is over.