Kohima, March 29: The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) Ltd. sensitized the Naga tree tomato farmers on the benefit and advantage of GI registration and legal rights.
In this connection a one day “Workshop for farmers on post Geographical Identification (GI) activities for Naga tree tomato and registration for authorized users” was held at Hotel Japfü here under the sponsorship by North Eastern Council (NEC).
Naga Tree Tomato is now among of the exotic agricultural products from Northeast India which have been accorded geographical indication (GI) tag during April 2014-March 2015 and figured number 374.
Tree tomato is grown widely throughout the state of Nagaland and is the best known of about 30 species of Cyphomandra.
In a leaflet, NERAMAC stated that Naga tree tomato contains special organoleptic qualities which is remarkably different from other tree tomato and is usually 100 to 150g.
NERAMAC stated that GI tag this will pave way for better branding and marketing of these products both in domestic and international market besides protecting local crops.
GI tag is a certification which indicates the distinctiveness of the product’s origin in a particular geographical location and carries an assurance of quality of that particular product.
Through this system, GI producers shape the role in future agricultural policy enabling free trade with other developing countries.
NERAMAC with the support of NEC, took the initiative to get GI registry to protect exclusive, special local crops of Northeast India.
NERAMAC event coordinator Archita Sarma said that NERAMAC is Government of India’s enterprise under DONER ministry and basically focus on organic products in the north eastern states and doing the job of certification of organic products and GI tag.
“We have been working to bridge the gap between the north eastern states farmers and market,” Sarma said adding that it has so far registered 10 products in the region.
She said that Naga tree tomato is the only tomato with GI registration as of now.
It is highly nutritious than any other tomato, she said adding that the people of Nagaland have a great reason to feel proud of it.
Sarma urged the tomato farmers use GI logo in all their dealings and communication henceforth.
Speaking on the occasion, Nagaland Principal Secretary for Horticulture M. K. Mero was optimistic that GI registration on Naga tree tomato will go a long way in benefiting the farmers towards large scale production and better marketing avenues.
He stressed on the need to promote Naga tree tomato which is not really developing into commercial scale of production at present.
Stating that he have also seen tree tomato in other parts of the world like Vietnam and Thailand, he said, “But since we have obtained the GI certification first we can claim that it is produce in our area, having much better quality than theirs and this is more authentic than what they produce.”
He also informed that the department is pushing for more products/crops for GI registration like Mokokchung cucumber, which is sweet and soft and such quality is rarely found in other place.
Highlighting the benefit of GI tag, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Jerry Patton said that GI registration confers legal protection to GI in India, prevents unauthorized use of registered GI by others and provides legal protection to GI which in turn boost exports.
Patton also said that it promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory. He added that violation of GI tags is punishable offence under law.
In India, GI is governed by GI tag geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
He informed that the first GI in India was given to “Darjeeling Tea” in 2004.
The first GI tag in Nagaland was given to “Naga Mircha” during April 2008-March 2009 while “Naga tree tomato” was given GI tag in the April 2014 -March 2015
He said that Naga tree tomato is a traditional food item of Naga people since time immemorial
It is grown in districts of Kohima, Wokha, Zunheboto, Kiphire, Tuensang, Mon, Phek & Zunheboto.
Patton said that Naga tree tomato is rich in Vitamin-A&C with excellent source of Calcium, Iron, potassium, phosphorous & magnesium
It helps in controlling high blood pressure & lowering cholesterol levels.
The programme was followed by submission of documents by farmers of Naga tree tomato for registration as authorized users to senior examiner, GI/TM, GI registry office, CGPDTM.
(Page News Service)