Union government has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana.
- Mithila Makhana or Makhan (botanical name: Euryale ferox Salisb.) is a special variety of aquatic fox nut cultivated in Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal.
- Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
What is ‘Makhana’?
- Makhana is the one of the three prestigious cultural identity of Mithila. Pan, Makhan and Machh (fish) are the three prestigious cultural identity of Mithila.
- In Mithila, Makhana is also termed as Makhan. It is also very famous in Kojagara festival of Maithil Brahmins celebrated for newly married couples.
- Makhana contains protein and fiber, along with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
About Geographical Indication (GI) Tag –
- A geographical indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. GI tags are given on the basis of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. At the International level, GI is governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- GI tag secures the quality and authenticity of a product to a particular geographical origin.
- It provides legal protection from duplication.
- The first product to get GI tag was Darjeeling Tea.