The ‘Mithila Makhana’ has been added to the list of 400 GI tags in India. In a push for the preservation of Indian culture and heritage, the awarding of the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Union Government of India to the ‘famous Mithila Makhana – Foxnuts of Bihar’, brings prosperous news to the Bihari farmers and residents.
The Mithila region of Bihar is quite famous not only in the country but in the world for its cultivation of a special variety of makhana, or fox nut. The hard work of the cultivators finally paid off and this special fox nut variety received a GI tag.
Once the product is awarded the GI tag, then any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years, following which it can be renewed. A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical space. The other benefits of GI registration include legal protection of that item, prevention against unauthorized use by others, and promoting export.
The primary reason for this decision by the government is a mission to increase and boost the farmer’s income. The acknowledgment of the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana will help the farmers who grow the foxnuts get the maximum price for their premium produce.
According to the GI Registry certificate, Bihar’s Mithila Makhana has been registered under the name of ‘Mithilanchal Makhana Utpadak Sangh’. The decision to award GI Tag to Bihar’s Mithila Makhana was formally announced by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
As per the registration certificate, Bihar state’s Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Champaran, Begusarai, Madhubani, and Katihar, among other districts, have been defined as the geographic location for the production of Mithila Makhana.
A fascinating fact to highlight is that Mithila makhana is the fifth commodity from Bihar to have received the GI tag. Before that, Bihar’s Katarni dhan, Bhagalpur’s jardalu mango, Muzaffarpur’s shahi litchi, and Nawada’s magahi pan were the recipients of the precious GI tag.
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