Manipur’s Tamenglong Oranges and Hathei Chilli get GI Tag

India’s northeastern state Manipur’s Tamenglong orange, a species of the mandarin family, and Hathei, a chilli variation, have been granted Geographical Indication (GI) status by the government.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh said in a tweet, “I’m happy to share that two (two) Manipur products, Hathei Chilly and Tamenglong Orange, have been given the GI tag.” It is good news for the producers of oranges and chillies as it will expectedly boost their income significantly.

In 2019, the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) had applied for Geographical Indication (GI) tags for the Tamenglong orange and the Sirarakhong Hathei chilli. The GI certifications is expected any time soon, said MOMA’s project director K Debdutta Sharma.

Tamenglong oranges are grown in Tamenglong district, which accounts for more than half of Manipur’s yearly orange production. It is well-known for its sweetness and acidity. The oranges are bigger in size, weighing 232.76 grams on average and has a unique sweet and sour taste. The juice content too is high at around 45 per cent and is rich in ascorbic acid (48.12 mg/100ml).

Meanwhile the Hathei chilly, commonly known as the Sirarakhong chilly, thrives well only in the climatic conditions of the Sirarakhong village, which is situated about 66 km from Imphal.

It has over 200 households and farming is the main occupation of the villagers. The major chunk of their income comes from the unique chilly. The chillies are grown organically across 300 hectares of the hills surrounding Sirarakhong village.

Experts said that the chilly has a distinct flavour. These chillies also grow in adjoining villages but their quality, in terms of taste, flavour and colour, are considered to be inferior to the variety that is found in Sirarakhong. The Hathei chilly works as a good anti-oxidant and possesses high calcium and Vitamin C levels. For more than a decade, Manipur has promoted these two products by holding the Orange Event in December and the Sirarakhong Hathei festival in August.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *