Alibaug Seeks Geographical Indication Tag for its White Onion

Geographical IndicationsNews    January 27, 2020
Geographical Indication Posted On

Alibaug, a coastal town in Raigad District of Maharashtra in India, is likely to soon get Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its white onion. On January 16, Alibaug Pandhara Kanda Utpadak Gat, i.e., Alibaug white onion producers group backed by the department of agriculture in Alibaug tehsil of Raigad district, applied for the GI tag with Geographical Indications Registry of Chennai.

Till today, near about 300 GI tags have been granted in India. And, when it comes to Maharashtra, the state possesses 24 agricultural products secured under the shield of Geographical Indication Protection. Besides, two more products of this region are also in the queue of acquiring the distinction.

A GI expert from Pune, advocate Ganesh Hingmire, said that Alibaug’s white onion, which has been cultivated for decades, is of a traditional variety. The product has a unique taste and color owing to the soil texture and climatic conditions of the region.

The GI proposal illustrated that the specific white onion doesn’t possess a strong odor. Rather it has a sweet taste, which makes it unique and different from other varieties of the onion commonly available in the market. It further illustrated that Alibaug white onion is the best eaten raw and offers remedy for cold, cough, fever, and allergies. Furthermore, it also heals wounds with its antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and carminative properties.

In Raigad, these special white onions are often cultivated in Kale, Khandala, Neuli, Pavele, Sahan, and Dhavar villages of Alibaug. In the application for Geographical Indication Registration in India, the group has claimed that this variety of onions is grown using traditional methods. For instance, seeds are sown in small rectangular-shaped beds. Dried fish powder and cow dung are used as fertilizers. The traditional braiding method is what keeps the onions’ taste intact for over seven months.

Hingmire, who has registered over 26 GIs in India, said that since the GI protection scheme came into practice after the World Trade Organization agreements, around 59,000 products have been registered as GI across Europe. He then added that in India, people can apply for a GI tag after every 60 km and that all citizens should be more and more aware of the global market and how to protect their products’ specialties. The GI tag in India falls under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act that came into effect in 1999.

Here, in this case, it is believed that the GI tag will protect the uniqueness of these onions and thus boost their exports. For more visit: 

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