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INDIA:  KASHMIR SAFFRON GETS THE GI TAG

July 30, 2020

Kashmir which is also called ‘Paradise on Earth’ is celebrated for a ton of things including its scenic beauty, plentiful wildlife, local handicrafts, local food and one of the significant things which gets Kashmir on the global map is its famous spice and health rejuvenator ‘Kashmir Saffron’, which has recently received the much-awaited Geographical Indication (GI) certification by the Geographical Indications Registry[1].

The application for registration of “Kashmir Saffron” as a GI was filed in respect of goods under class 30.  Kashmiri Saffron is cultivated and harvested in Karewa (highlands) and is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir around 1st Century BCE by Central Asian immigrants. It is the only Saffron in the world which is grown at an altitude of 1,600 metres, thus making it exceptional and remarkable from the Saffron grown in the other parts of the world.[2]

What is Geographical Indication (GI)?

Geographical Indication is a name or sign given to certain products that relates or belongs to a specific geographical location or origins like a region, town or country. GI helps the genuine producers to earn profit in the competitive market and enables the customers to buy products having superior quality.

Read more about GI here.

As per Section 2(1)(e) of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 a geographical indication pertains to agricultural, natural or manufactured goods, which originate and are produced/processed in a specific geographical territory, thereby associating a reputation for such territory.[3]

Kashmiri Saffron has a rich cultural heritage and is very famous globally. It holds an immense importance in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumery and textile dye-producing industry. It is extensively used as a spice to add flavour to food and as a dye to colour foods. It has also been associated with Kashmiri food cuisine. It has also been reported that Pampore, which is the hub of Saffron in Kashmir is likely to have a bumper crop of the spice this season due to initiatives taken by the National Mission on Saffron (NMS). Under the NMS, a project of Rs 411 crore was approved by the Union government under which an area of 3,715 hectare for saffron was proposed to be rejuvenated.[4]

It is expected that this GI certification will help farmers in getting the best remunerative price also help in preventing the prevalent practice of adulteration of Saffron.

[1] http://ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/Images/pdf/GI_Application_Register_10-09-2019.pdf

[2] In a historic first, Kashmir saffron gets GI certification; https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/in-a-historic-first-kashmir-saffron-gets-gi-certification/story-xhVq8sB8BnCkXHX5Vm7JzN.html; accessed on July 28, 2020

[3] Section 2(1)(e) of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; http://www.ipindia.nic.in/act-1999.htm accessed on July 28,2020

[4] Supra Note 2

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