After Naga King Chilly, many more indigenous and traditional produces is likely to go for Geographical Indication (GI) registration which protects it from exploiting the intellectual property rights to rightful owners.
A daylong awareness workshop on efficacy and importance of GI products jointly organized by government of Nagaland and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), United Nation Council for Trade in Agriculture and Development (UNCTAD), Indian Merchant Chamber (IMC) and Centre for International Trade in Agriculture is scheduled to be held at the conference hall of the directorate of Industries & Commerce here tomorrow. Several officials and experts from UNCTAD, ICC, IMC, CITA had arrived at the sate capital here today for the one day awareness workshop.
J.C Srivastava, Regional Advisor IMC, Mahesh Deori, Regional Director ICC and M.K Mero OSD Industries and Commerce Nagaland while addressing a joint press conference at the conference hall, Hotel Japfu informed that the workshop is organized with the main focus to get registered as many products from the state with GI registration as soon as possible.
Nagaland and Northeast as a whole has lots of potentials to go for GI registration of its various products including traditional and cultural items and other endemic produces, said J.C Srivastava, Regional Advisor, IMC which is one of the oldest organizations in the country which had attained 103 years of its existence. He said that the IMC in partnership with UNCTAD and ICC and is working in close coordination.
Presently out of the total 106 products registered in the country only few products including the Naga King Chilly, Assam Tea, Assam Muga Silk and Darjeeling Tea were among the lists. Products such as Naga shawl, Skirts, Woodcraft and Pottery can go for GI registration, Srivastava said.
Geographical Indication or GI was introduced in the country through an Act passed in the parliament in 1999 and subsequent GI Rule in 2002. GI is recognized by the World Trade Organization and the GI give protection to intellectual property rights on the line of patent. GI gives protections to the consumers as well as the original producers with economic and commercial value of the products, he said.
On the criteria for getting GI registration of products, Srivastava said that the product has to be specific and unique to a region and has to has historically and come through traditional and cultural knowledge. Moreover, it has to have documentary proved and have a logo. Application for the registration can be collected or download from website and submit the same to the GI registration office Headquarter at Chennai or its Kolkotta office. The entire process of getting GI registration takes around six months, he added.
Similarly, Mahesh Deori, Regional Director ICC which has its headquarter at Kolkatta and regional office at New Delhi and Gauhati admitted that the awareness on the GI came very late to the region. As part of the ICC North East initiative, it has taken up the GI registration so as to promote NE as a good investment avenue to the outside world. He also said that ICC is closely working with the government and is actively involve in advising the government in policy making.
He further revealed that the workshop scheduled to be held tomorrow was the fallout of the last UNCTAD seminar held at Shillong in the month of May where the state Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Commerce K C Nihoshe took part.
Meanwhile, M.K Mero OSD Industries and Commerce said that the state government can only facilitate for GI registration of any produce and NGOs has to take the initiatives. He also pointed out the rich species of rice found in the state and by citing the example of the finding 73 different species of rice from a village alone, he suggested that this could be one area which can be also explored.