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General Studies 2 >> Governance

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1. Context
As Onattukara sesame has received a geographical indication (GI) tag, stakeholders are upbeat that the recognition will boost its popularity and market value.
Onattukara sesame enters list of GI-tagged products from Kerala, thanks to  KAU- The New Indian Express
2.Onattukara sesame
  • "Onattukara Sesame" refers to a particular variety of sesame seeds cultivated in the Onattukara region of Kerala, India. These sesame seeds are known for their quality, oil content, and flavor. They are often used in South Indian cuisine, particularly in dishes like chutneys, sweets, and various traditional recipes.
  • The Onattukara region, with its specific climate and soil conditions, contributes to the unique taste and quality of these sesame seeds.
  • The cultivation of Onattukara sesame currently spans under 600 hectares across 43 local administrations in three districts: Alappuzha, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta. B. Lovely, an Assistant Professor from the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding at the College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, emphasizes the significant benefits for farmers. The sesame's GI-tagged status is projected to raise its market value, potentially leading to an expansion in cultivation and subsequently boosting production. Acknowledging its medicinal properties, Lovely advocates for exploring its export potential
  • The Onattukara Vikasana Agency (OVA), the registered owner of the GI-tagged sesame and with Agriculture Minister P. Prasad as its chairman, has initiated measures to promote the product and expand its cultivation
  • The OVA is planning to procure the sesame from farmers at ₹300 per kg. Besides making and marketing sesame oil under the Onattukara brand, we will launch a range of value-added products
Sesame Streets Ahead: New Strategy to Drive the Growth of Australia's  Sesame Industry | AgriFutures Australia

3. About Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

  • A Geographical Indication (GI) is a label that is applied to products that have a specific geographical origin and that have characteristics related to that particular location.
  • For Example, a GI tag for Amroha Dholak indicates that the dholaks must be made in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, using traditional methods and materials.

4. Importance of GI Tag

  • GI tags are important because they help to produce the reputation and authenticity of products from a particular region.
  • They also help to promote fair trade and sustainable practices. In the case of the seven products from Uttar Pradesh that have received GI tags, these tags will help to ensure that these products are made using traditional methods and that they are of high quality.
  • This will benefit the artisans who make these products and it will also help to preserve the unique cultural heritage of Uttar Pradesh.
For Prelims: Geographical Indication Tag, Uttar Pradesh, Amroha Dholak, Mahoba Gaura Patthar Hastashlip, Manipuri Tarkashi, Sambhal Horn Craft, Baghpat Home Furnishings, Barabanki Handloom Product, Kalpi Handmade Paper,
For Mains: 
1. Discuss the potential economic and cultural benefits of obtaining GI tags for regional products in terms of enhancing their market value and preserving traditional knowledge. (250 Words)


Previous Year Questions

1. Which of the following has/have been accorded 'Geographical Indication' status?  (UPSC 2015)

1. Banaras Brocades and Sarees
2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma
3. Tirupathi Laddu
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 only           B. 2 and 3 only               C.  1 and 3 only              D. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C
2. India enacted The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 in order to comply with the obligations to (UPSC  2018) 
A. ILO           B. IMF               C. UNCTAD             D. WTO
Answer: D
3. On the basis of 'one district one product' programme in Uttar Pradesh, which one of the following pairs is NOT correctly matched? (UPPSC Combined State Exam 2022) 
A. Gautam Buddh Nagar - Readymade Garments 
B. Amethi - Moonz Products
C. Agra - Leather Products
D. Baghpat - Wooden Toys
Answer: D
4. In which of the following states was the Monpa handmade paper making unit inaugurated in December 2020? (SSC CHSL 2021) 
A. Manipur            B. Tripura              C. Assam              D. Arunachal Pradesh
Answer: D
Source: The Hindu

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