Raja Mircha: In a major boost to exports of Geographical Indications (GI) products from the north-eastern region, Raja Mircha, also known as Naga King Chilli, was exported to London from Nagaland.
A consignment of ‘Raja Mircha’ was exported to London via Guwahati by air for the first time that too during the Covid-19 pandemic along with a drought-like situation in Nagaland.
- The chili from Nagaland is also referred to as Bhoot Jolokia and Ghost pepper.
- It got GI certification in 2008.
- Nagaland King Chilli belongs to the genus Capsicum of the family Solanaceae.
- It has been considered the world’s hottest chili.
- It is constantly on the top five in the list of the world’s hottest chilies based on the Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).
Note: In 2021, APEDA has facilitated exports of Jackfruits from Tripura to London and Germany, Leteku ‘Burmese Grape’ to Dubai, Assam Lemon to London, and Red rice of Assam to the United States.
About Scoville Heat Units (SHUs):
- Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) is the measurement that is done to measure the hotness of pepper or a hot sauce.
- It is generally done by checking the number of times capsaicin needs to be dissolved in water filled with sugar.
- The number of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) in a hot sauce or a pepper indicates the amount of capsaicin present in the pepper or the hot sauce.
- The higher the rating the hotter is the pepper.
Who accords and regulates Geographical Indications?
- GI is part of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) that come 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).
- GIs have been defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”
- In India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
Note: The first product in India to be accorded with the GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
Benefits of GI Registrations:
The following are the benefits of Geographical Indication registration:
- Prevents unauthorized use of GI tag products by others.
- Legal protection to the products.
- Promotes the economic prosperity of producers of GI tag goods by enhancing their demand in national and international markets.
- It helps consumers to get quality products of desired traits and is assured of authenticity.