Chak-hao has GI tag issue

Imphal: All Club Organisation Association and Meira Paibi Lup (ACOAM- Lup), has urged the Chak-hao farmers to take a united step to save the identity of Chak-hao if the government fails to take initiatives on time.

Chakhao Monitoring Committee and Consortium of Chakhao Growers should provide information and awareness on the benefit of using GI tags in Chak-hao products and produce, the unified organisation said.

ACOAM Lup will immediately cease Chak-hao rice production and its produce that do not have GI tag if the authority fails to provide the information to the farmers.

Due to the lack of awareness on benefit of geographical identification (GI) tag on ‘Chak-hao’ (Manipur Black Rice), farmers are failing to take the benefits from Chak-hao plantation though GI tag has already given on Chak-hao in 2020 under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Regions (MOVCDNER), secretary general of All Club Organisation Association and Meira Paibi Lup (ACOAM- Lup), Shanta Mangang said.

Shanta was addressing a press conference at its head office at Laishram Leirak, DC Road, Lamphel, here on Tuesday.

MOVCDNER has given recognition on Chak-hao in 2016-17 and has been funding for its plantation for the last three years. Under the funding of MOVCDNER the area of Chak-hao plantation has increased to1000 hectares, however due to unavailability of a particular market, farmers are not able continue the plantation without fear, Shanta said.

He said GI tag on Chak-hao has already given on 2020 but instead of getting the benefits, most of the farmers and entrepreneurs are not aware on how to use GI tag. No developmental steps had been taken though state government has formed a committee ‘Chakhao Monitoring Committee’ on May 12, 2020 under the chairmanship of state director of agriculture.

The committee had resolved on May 12 last year that the funded entrepreneurs and private entrepreneurs should put GI tag on Chak-hao products and produce. However, government is yet to manufacture an application to use the GI tag on Chak-hao products and produce, he added.

‘Consortium of producer of Chakhao’ has been failing to give awareness on GI tag and due to the reason farmers are not aware the value of GI tag, he said.

A question has been raised on the strategy of marketing and promotion of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) which is one of the agencies of MOVCDNER, Shanta said.

Some of the organisations and societies funded under MOMA have the information of GI tag but due to lack of support, experts and knowledge on the usage of GI tag they are also failing to compete in national market, he added.

The marketing and promotion on Chak-hao is targeted only in local, due to the reason farmers of Chandauli of Uttar Pradesh has started taking benefits on Black Rice by using GI tags, he said. Chak-hao was carried from Manipur in Chandauli in 2017 and started plantation in the area in 1,500 hectare which is upgraded to 6,500 hectare, he added.

The black rice is selling in market at Rs 150-200 per kg, Shanta said.

In connection with the issue a PIL will be filed for the reason on why there is no development in Chak-hao plantation as when funding on the plantation has completed 4 years, Shanta cautioned.

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