Agri Business

Farmers seek GI tag for Wada Kolam rice

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on July 08, 2020 Published on July 08, 2020

After the Dahanu-Gholvad chikoo fruit from Palghar district of Maharashtra receiving Geographical Indication (GI) tags, efforts are being made to get a GI tag for Wada Kolam rice, which is a unique fragrant variety cultivated in the Wada taluka of the district.

On June 29, a final application was made with GI Registry for getting the tag. The GI Registry is a part of the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

Wada Kolam rice variety is cultivated only in coastal Palghar district, which was carved out of the gigantic Thane district in 2014. Palghar has a unique agro-climate due to proximity to the Arabian sea as also to the woody Sahyadri mountain range. The fertile land also produces chikoo or sapota fruit, which received a GI tag in January 2017.

The effort to get the GI tag has been spearheaded by prominent Intellectual Property lawyer Ganesh Hingmire and local farmer families from Wada taluka. Hingmire told BusinessLine that Wada Kolam rice is very much sought after in the market due to its flavour, therefore many rice mill owners mis-sell their rice varieties as Wada Kolam. The GI tag to the rice variety will give better rates to the Wada farmers. It will bring traceability and accountability to the Wada Kolam rice trade.

Farmer Vaibhav Patil from Wada, secretary of the local farmer cooperative society that has undertaken the data gathering and background towards receiving the GI tag, said that in all of Wada taluka only about 250 farmers cultivate the variety over about 2,500 hectares of land. Since the land is fertile, only cow dung is used as manure, no other chemical is used.

However, the variety has a lower yield, as out of 100 quintals of paddy only 45 quintals of polished rice gets produced, while other varieties yield about 55 quintals. Therefore some farmers are less inclined to plant this variety. Today, Wada farmers get ₹40 per kg. But if GI tag is received the rate could increase to ₹80-90 and the area under Wada Kolam could easily rise to 5,000 hectares, he said.

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Published on July 08, 2020
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