Pune: The Bhandara Chinnor rice, a unique type of rice cultivated in Vidarbha, is now vying for the Geographical indication (GI) to help its farmers. The application registration was submitted on Saturday, a day before the World Intellectual Property Day, which is observed on April 26.
GIs protect the intellectual property of goods that are popularly associated with a region for its properties.
Professor Ganesh Hingmire, Founder and Chairman of Great Mission Group Consultancy (GMGC), applied for the GI on behalf of the farming community of Bhandara Chinnor Dhan Utpadak Sangh. "Bhandara Chinnor is an aromatic type of rice grown in Bhandara district of Vidarbha. The region is also recognized as the rice bowl of the State. The presence of numerous lakes help is what aids its production, " Hingmire tells us.
How it will help?
A GI is used on products that possess qualities or a reputation of a particular region. "Chinnor rice has a very significant fragrance and taste because of the climate and water of this particular region," he adds. "Chinnor farming has been going on since ages in this area, but the GI was filed to ensure that this unique product is recognised in the mainstream market. It was also registered to keep in mind the farming community that helps in growing this product. The GI would help them get a premium price for their produce," he tells us.
Anil Mendhe, Chairman of Bhandara Chinnor Dhan Utpadak Sangh says, "This rice has a very unique fragrance and taste, because of which it is always in demand at the local markets. We get roughly Rs 50-55 per kg, which is definitely not enough. If we get a GI filed, it will increase demand in other markets and also fetch us a premium price."
Maharashtra leads the way
With 27 GI-tags for agri-products, Maharashtra is ranked No. 1 in the country. Two other agricultural commodities, Osmanabad goat and Alibaug white onion are also in pipeline as the applications were submitted by Hingmire early this year. "There is a total of 111 Agri products in India which are GI tagged," he says.
"Our country is rich in agriculture and we grow many unique products that deserve to be recognised," Hingmire adds. "As important as it is to patent an invention, it is also of crucial concern to secure the legal intellectual property right of communities that cultivate unique products."
He further adds, "This GI-tag not only to ensure that the farming community gets its premium rate, but it is also to help in conserving the traditional varieties of agriculture. A lot of younger generations are not inclined towards farming because they're unaware of these agricultural varieties that are cultivated in their home state. Which is why special rights for such a product must be secured."