Under the auspices of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), a Geographical Indication (GI) Awareness Seminar was recently held at Pragna Bhavan in Agartala. This initiative, led by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) of the Government of India, aims to highlight the significance of GI certification for agricultural products. Notably, among the 13 products from the North Eastern region that received GI certification, the Tripura Queen Pineapple holds a prominent place.
The primary focus of the seminar was to empower and authorize 300 farmers to utilize GI tagging facilitated by NERAMAC for their certified produce. The event was presided over by Tripura Agriculture Minister Ratan Lal Nath, accompanied by other dignitaries.
In his address, Minister Nath emphasized the government’s commitment, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the holistic development of farmers, recognizing that a majority of India’s population depends on agriculture and farming. Initiatives aimed at doubling farmers’ income and building a self-reliant nation, known as Atmanirbhar Bharat, have been implemented by the central and state governments to ensure the welfare of farmers.
The introduction of GI certification is part of the broader efforts of the Indian government to promote sustainable agriculture, safeguard farmers’ rights, and enhance agricultural exports. Minister Nath expressed his appreciation for the initiative, stating that it has been warmly welcomed by the farming community in Tripura. He believes that GI certification will boost the morale and confidence of farmers in traditional farming practices.
Significantly, the GI seminar in Tripura marked the first visit by a GI expert to the state. Minister Nath extended his gratitude to Dr. Rajni Kant Dwivedi, a renowned GI expert and recipient of the Padma Shri award, for sharing his expertise with the farmers of Tripura. Dr. Dwivedi emphasized the importance of promoting Geographical Indication products specific to the North Eastern Region (NER) and stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to support and market these unique products. Such initiatives not only protect the distinct identity and quality of the products but also create employment opportunities for local communities.
Speaking to over 200 pineapple farmers in attendance, Commodore Rajiv Ashok (Retd), Managing Director of NERAMAC, highlighted the significance of the GI initiative in promoting and safeguarding the traditional agricultural practices and products of the North Eastern region. The certification process will grant recognition to the unique qualities and reputation of Tripura Queen Pineapple while protecting it from misuse and imitation. Commodore Ashok further explained that authorizing farmers under the GI system would enhance the competitiveness of their produce in both domestic and international markets, leading to increased income and improved livelihoods.
The seminar also witnessed the presence of Apurba Roy, Secretary of the Agriculture Department, along with other officials. Their participation reflects the government’s commitment to supporting and promoting agricultural development in Tripura.
The GI Awareness Seminar served as a platform to educate farmers about the importance of GI certification and its potential benefits. By protecting the identity and quality of region-specific agricultural products, the initiative ensures that the North Eastern region’s rich heritage and agricultural traditions are preserved. Additionally, the authorization of farmers under the GI system will boost their market competitiveness, driving economic growth and improving the overall well-being of the farming community.
As the North Eastern region of India continues to develop its agricultural sector, initiatives like the GI Awareness Seminar play a crucial role in promoting sustainable agriculture, empowering farmers, and enhancing the region’s unique products’ market value. With the support of the government and the dedication of farmers, the North Eastern region is poised to harness its agricultural potential, contributing to the growth and prosperity of the nation as a whole.