India is a land of agricultural gems and one of them is Manipur’s black rice – Chakhao. Chakhao is one of the richest sources of anthocyanin which acts like an antioxidant and fights free radicals, anthocyanins may also offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits. But what makes this black rice unique from other varieties found worldwide is the aromatics coupled with the stickiness. It has also been found to be beneficial in conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, arthritis, allergies, aging signs and even cancer. It is also Gluten-free.
Having realised its potential commercial benefits and increasing demand in the superfood market worldwide, the GI tag on Chakhao will help indigenous farmers of the region sell and promote their products worldwide with proper IP protections in place. The farming of this aromatic black rice can be traced back to the first inhabitants of Manipur, being the Meiteis or by Buddhist monks who migrated from Asian countries back in 400 BC. It is specifically grown in Manipur’s on Manipur’s territorial soil which gives it the distinctive dark purple-hued outer bran layer and its unique aroma.
The GI tag was filed in respect of goods under Class 30 by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERMAC), an organisation responsible for registration and supervision of Geographical Indications of North-East India, with a view to help farmers attain their due recognition and compensation for their locally-grown produce.
Image source: downtoearth.org.in