Kachchhi Kharek Dates of Kutch Awarded GI Tag

  • 17 Jan 2024

Kachchhi Kharek, the distinctive variety of dates native to Kutch, Gujarat, recently attained the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDT) of India, marking a significant milestone for local farmers.

Key Points

  • GI Tag for Kachchhi Kharek: Kachchhi Kharek, the renowned dates from Kutch, Gujarat, achieves the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, becoming the second fruit in Gujarat to receive this recognition after Gir kesar mango in 2011.
  • Certificate Awarded by CGPDT: The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDT) grants the GI tag to Kuchchhi Kharek earlier this month after reviewing an application submitted by the Unidates Farmer Producer Company Limited (UFPCL), a farmer producer organization in Kutch.
  • Unique Identity for Kutch Dates: Market and Processing Opportunities: The GI tag provides Kachchhi Kharek with a unique identity, opening new avenues for marketing and processing these distinctive and flavorful fruits, according to Muralidharan, Director of Research at SDAU.
  • Second Fruit from Gujarat with GI Tag: Following Gir kesar mango, Kachchhi Kharek becomes the second fruit from Gujarat to receive a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, showcasing the rich agricultural diversity of the region.
  • Historical Presence of Dates in Kutch: According to historical records, date palms in Kutch date back 400-500 years, potentially influenced by settlers visiting the Middle East for Haj and trade. The Arab gardeners in the palaces of Kachchh rulers may have also played a role in introducing date seeds.
  • Diversity in Date Palms: Kutch boasts around two million date palms, primarily seedling-origin palms of indigenous varieties, each representing unique characteristics. The diverse colors, sizes, shapes, and tastes make Kutch dates eligible for the GI tag.
  • Economic Cultivation of Fresh Dates: Kutch is possibly the only region globally where fresh dates are economically cultivated, marketed, and consumed. It contributes to more than 85% of total date palm cultivation in India.