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Kachchhi Kharek of Gujarat Gets GI Tag

Why is it in the news?

  • Kachchhi Kharek, the indigenous dates from Kutch, Gujarat, achieved Geographical Indication (GI) status, marking it as the second fruit in the state, following Gir kesar mango.
·       Kutch houses around two million date palms, with 1.7 million being seedling-origin palms, representing a diverse range of characteristics.

·       The Kachchh region contributes over 85% to the total date palm cultivation in India.

About Kachchhi Kharek

  • Originating around 400-500 years ago, date palm groves in Kutch likely started from seeds discarded by settlers visiting the Middle East.
  • Arab gardeners in Kachchh may have also contributed to importing date seeds and offshoots from Arab countries.
  • Notably, dates in Kutch are harvested at the khalal stage, making it the only place globally where fresh dates are economically cultivated, marketed, and consumed without waiting for them to darken or soften.

·       The khalal stage occurs when fruits have matured, accumulated sucrose, turned red or yellow, but remain crisp.

·       As these are seedling propagated palms, each of them is a unique palm in itself, representing a vast range of diversity in characteristics.

Geographical Indications (GI) Tag

  • A GI is applied to products with a specific geographical origin, possessing qualities or reputation attributed to that origin.
  • It is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999 and awarded by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDT) of India.
  • It preserves the authenticity and uniqueness of products.
  • It promotes economic and social development in local communities, safeguarding traditional knowledge and skills.
  • It enhances market value and consumer demand for the recognized products.

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