Palampur: Himachal Agriculture University has initiated active efforts to get Geographical Indications (GI) for important crops of Himachal Pradesh.

GI tag enables farmers to get special rights over these distinct crops and reap rich dividends by selling such crops or products.

Prof H.K Chaudhary, Vice-Chancellor of Agriculture University Palampur informed that the crops selected for GI are Japonica red rice, Bharmour, Barot and Kinnaur rajmah, Karsog, Shilai and Chamba urdbean, Karsog kulthi, Kullu, Kangra and Mandi red rice and Chamba Chukh.

He disclosed that there are a good number of field crops like rice, barley, rajmash, kulthi, mash, as potential crops like buckwheat, amaranthus, chenopodium, millets, kala zeera, orchids, bamboo, forages, garlic, ginger, red ginger, zimikand, cucumber, kakadi, ghandiyali, radish, kakora, Tardi, lingroo and animals like Pahari cattle and buffalo (Gojri), Spiti horse, Spiti donkey, Rampur-bushair and gaddi sheep, cheegu and gaddi goats, Himachali yak, snow trout, golden mahseer, carps and hill stream fish to get GI tag.

“Unique traditional jewellery of gaddi women like chak and chiri, chandan har and champakali, loung, koka, tilli and balu, bunde, jhumke, kante, latkni, tungni and kanphuls, gojru, toke,kangnu, snangu, singhi and pari and medical products like white honey from Bharmaur, aphids honey dew from Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur, wild mushroom (Kirajari), Spiti Chharma and woollen products like charkhani pattu, dohroo, pude and pashmina from cheegu goat have been shortlisted for GIs,” Prof Chaudhary further added.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the agriculture university is collaborating with H.P. Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Himachal Pradesh Patent Implementation Centre, Shimla for its efforts to get GIs as scientific and technical data has to be generated for each and every crop, animal or other distinct products where there is the possibility of getting GI.

The University is also helping in the Registration of Farmers’ varieties with Protection of Plant Varieties with Farmers’ Right Authority, Govt of India. Ratti, Hachhi Kukadi and Chitku landraces of Maize from Salooni (Chamba) and Chhohartu landrace of Red Rice from Chirgaon, Rohru were registered. Similarly, eight animal breeds Gaddi Sheep, Rampur-Bushair Sheep, Gaddi Goat, Chegu Goat, Spiti Horse, Spiti Donkey, Himachali Pahari Cattle and Gojri Buffalo were registered with NBAGR Karnal.

Prof Chaudhary informed that the University has also registered five RNA and DNA sequences of genes of important traits with the National Center for Biotechnology Information.