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MP Govt's GI Tag Plea May Soon Bring Global Fame for Indori Poha and Morena Gajak

The government has also applied for GI certification of ‘kodo and kutki’, the high-nutrition varieties of millets mostly grown by local tribals, and ‘panja dari’, handmade carpets known for their sturdiness and colour durability.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:November 28, 2019, 5:45 PM IST
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MP Govt's GI Tag Plea May Soon Bring Global Fame for Indori Poha and Morena Gajak
Representative image.

Bhopal: Indore’s mouth-watering ‘poha’ and Morena’s famous sweet dish ‘gajak’ could soon attain global fame with the Madhya Pradesh government applying for Geographical Indication (GI) tags for these products.

The state government has also applied for GI certification of ‘kodo and kutki’, the high-nutrition varieties of millets mostly grown by local tribals, and ‘panja dari’, carpets woven in a particular pattern.

Made out of flattened rice flakes, poha is synonymous with Indore and is a breakfast staple in the commercial capital of the state. Despite its popularity across north India, the unique way in which it is prepared in Indore and its taste makes it special.

“Once we get the GI tag, it would not only help us create a brand name for these products but also safeguard the interests of our traders as no one can use this name without our permission outside Indore,” said Anurag Bothra, secretary of Indore Mithai, Namkeen Nirmata evam Vikreta Vyapari Sangh.

A paradise of gourmets, Indore is also ready with other GI applications for delicacies like ‘doodh se bani shikanji’ (milk-based sweet drink), ‘laung sev’ (a clove-flavoured snack) and ‘khatta meetha namkeen’ (sweet and sour dry snacks).

“We are also planning to file GI application for these food items,” said an official of the Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME) Development Institute, Indore.

Made of sesame and jaggery, the gajak is a common sweet item found across the nation, but its makers in Morena believe the taste here is special.

When eaten during harsh winters, it helps combat cough and cold, besides its high protein and mineral content that helps fight oxidative damage of liver, gives strength to bones and has an overall good impact on health.

The millet varieties of kodo and kutki used to be traditionally grown by tribals of Madhya Pradesh, but lately they have caught the fancy of health freaks due to its high nutritional value.

Farmers had stopped growing the millet varieties due to low returns, but as awareness grew for healthy food grain varieties, the crops are back in the farms in several parts of the state, especially in the tribal heartland of Dindori.

Both the millets have proven nutritional qualities (high protein, dietary fibre, mineral and antioxidant content), drought-tolerance and suitability for even marginal soils, said an official from the Department of Agriculture.

Panja dari, the handmade carpet from the remote Alirajpur district is also in the queue for GI Tag. Produced by a group of locals and now aided by the Khadi and Village Industries Department, the item remains in high demand across the country due to its unique thickness, colour durability and sturdiness that helps the carpet last for even 40-50 years. The carpets come at a cost of Rs 10,000-12,000 each, claim locals.

MSME Principal Secretary Ashok Shah said the GI applications have been forwarded to the authorities concerned for the five products. “We would market these products during the international trade fair in New Delhi to be held soon,” Shah said.

The move is in line with Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot’s announcement in the annual budget that efforts would be made for branding of local specialties like ‘Indori poha’, ‘Morena gajak’ and ‘Ratlam sev’.

The state already has GI tags for products like leather toys of Indore, Chanderi saris of Ashoknagar, Bagh print, black fowl of Jhabua-Kadaknath, Ratlam sev (snacks) and bell metal ware of Datia and Tikamgarh.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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