(GIST OF YOJANA) GI-Tagging of Rural Products

(GIST OF YOJANA) GI-Tagging of Rural Products


GI-Tagging of Rural Products


  • Geographical Indication derives its strength from Article 22 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which defines GIs as ‘indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin’. 
  • This mandates member countries to provide for the protection of all GIs, where the obligation is for the members to provide the’ legal means for interested parties’, to secure protection of their GIs. Geographical Indications are also covered as an element of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) under Articles 1(2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • In general, GIs backed up by solid business management can bring a competitive advantage, more added value to a product, increased export opportunities, and a strengthened, brand of produce. 
  • Further, GI is different from the other type of Intellectual Property called ‘trademarks’ in a way that trademark is a sign assigned to an enterprise that gets the exclusive right to use it to distinguish its goods and services from those of others.

Key initiatives aimed at promoting GI products:

  • India’s GI-tagged products and works of artisans, the government is aiming to market the products in international markets. While launching the new logo for the GI products, a new tagline for promotion ‘Invaluable Treasure of Incredible India’ has been selected. The Ministry of Commerce is working with the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well as the Ministry of Railway to arrange a display for GI-tagged products.
  • India’s very first Geographical Indications (GI), Store of Cashew Export Promotion
    Council of India (CEPCI) was launched in 2019, at the departure terminal of Goa. Gol is planning to open GI stores in other airports as well. Government e-Marketplace (GeM) Startup Runway, an initiative of GeM to provide access to the public procurement market and sell innovative products and services to government buyers was also launched. Startup Runway will enable them to conduct market trials with government buyers, seek time-bound feedback and gain realistic product, price comparison, and market valuation from potential buyers and investors.
  • India’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2021-2026, which targets to achieve the exports value to USD 1.0 trillion by 2025, has recognised GI-tagged Agri commodities as one of the growth drivers in the draft export policy which will help to gain competitive advantage in buyer driven global markets. Two major initiatives proposed under the new FTP include (a) Promoting ‘District Export Hubs’ in each district and setting up district export promotion panels, and preparing district export action plans to target small businesses and farmers, and
    (b) ‘Correcting imbalances’ in India’s international trade processes by creating efficient, cost-effective, and adequate logistical and utility infrastructure, as well as working towards reducing the domestic and overseas constraints related to the policy, regulatory and operational framework for lowering transaction costs and enhancing ease of doing business.-
  • Another small but important step to boost indigenous toys production to support artisans and MSMEs is the government adopting Toys (Quality Control) Second Amendment Order, 2020 which exempts goods manufactured and sold by artisans and those registered as Geographical Indication (GI) from Quality Control Orders.
  • Starting of India’s first exclusive and largest online store of GI-tagged products, is also an important effort to help GI products get visibility as well as a ready market.
  • Many agencies as well as the State governments are now frequently organising Buyer-Seller Meet with a specific focus on GI-tagged products.

Way ahead:

  • There is a need to prepare a strategy to raise awareness about various GI products, and the difference between GI and non-GI products amongst local farmers, consumers, an other relevant stakeholders.
  • APEDA which organises buyers-sellers meet in different counties in virtual as well as in physical form to promote export of Indian agri-products, has recently started giving special visibility to GI products. Such efforts are a welcome step but India, especially the Central Government, needs to come out with some long-term policy to provide Indian GI products an assured domestic as well as international market.
  • The government needs to make efforts for creating required infrastructures such as customs clearance facilities, laboratory testing facilities, pack-houses, and pre-cooling facilities, which would harness and boost the exports potential of GI products.
  • India needs to start negotiations with other country very proactively, to make their markets available for GI-tagged products, especially agricultural products from India as about 111 out of 370 GI products registered in India are agricultural products. In return, India would also be expected to help GI-tagged products.
  • Despite GI tagging, the commercial performance of many GI products is not up to the mark, even in the domestic market. Therefore, the Government of India may identify such product-place clusters and evaluate them commercially to develop them in their entirety.
  • It is observed that except for Basmati rice, Nashik grapes, and Darjeeling tea, the value chains for most of the other GI-tagged commodities are either not developed or at a very nascent stage. Efforts are needed on this front also.
  • Setting up an incubation centre for helping users/farmers/entrepreneurs for obtaining GI and traceability solutions of their produce may help GI products to grow.
  • Identification of select FPOs and pilot for GI-traceability solutions covering a survey of farms, weather advisory services, traceability solutions, reporting applications, inventory management, order management, satellite-based applications, and yield predictions.
  • NABARD supports the registration of agricultural as well as non-agricultural products for getting GI tags. It also helps various agencies to form and nurture Off-farm (non-farm) Producers Organisations (OFPOs) which can be taken advantage of for promoting region-specific non-farm activity clusters.



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Courtesy: Yojana