Maharashtra Palghar’s famous wada kolam rice gets GI Tag

After the Dahanu-Gholvad chikoo fruit from Palghar district of Maharashtra, a variety of rice Wada Kolam widely grown in the same region has been given a ‘Geographical Indication’ tag, which will give it a unique identity as well as wider markets.

It will also fetch better rates to the Wada farmers, besides bringing traceability and accountability to the Wada Kolam rice trade.

The decision to give GI tag to Wada Kolam rice was taken in a meeting held in Mumbai on September 29, said Divisional agriculture joint director Ankush Mane.

Wada Kolam, also known as Zini or Jhini rice, is a traditional variety grown in the Wada tehsil of Palghar, with the grain being off white in colour.

This particular traditional variety commands a price of Rs. 60-70 per kg in domestic markets and has a sizeable demand overseas as well.

It is known for its small grain, aroma, taste and lightness. However, it is a low yielding crop but the GI tag will help in exports and domestic trade as well.

Recently India’s northeastern state Manipur’s Tamenglong orange, a species of the mandarin family, and Hathei, a chilli variation, have also been granted Geographical Indication (GI) status by the government. In 2019, the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) had applied for Geographical Indication (GI) tags for the Tamenglong orange and the Sirarakhong Hathei chilli.

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). 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.

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