Manipur's traditional Black Rice 'Chak Hao' obtains the Geographical Indication Tag

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.

- Samuel Johnson

In the year 2017, The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) Limited, filed an application for Chak Hao to be given a Geographical Indication tag and the research and process was aided by the state agriculture department.

The Examiner of Trademarks and GI issued an examination report, under Rule 33 of the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules 2002, indicating that the Association of Producers should be replaced as the Applicant as per Section 11 of the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 2002. The Ld. Examiner also requisitioned information and documentation regarding special characteristics, unique features, proof of origin, usage of name - Chak Hao, area of production and ecosystem study, uniqueness of the geographical indication etc.   

As a result, The Consortium of Producers of Chak Hao replaced NERAMAC Limited as the Applicant and a detailed response was filed by them providing the specific information and supporting documents. The registration was granted on April 20, 2020.   

Chak Hao (Oryza sativa L.), commonly known as Black Rice, is a culturally important traditional rice variety of Manipur, which not only provides nutritional and medicinal benefits but also plays a cardinal role in socio-cultural practices of the North-East community of India. The rice gets its unique colour from a naturally occurring pigment 'Anthocyanin', and is known for its glutinous texture and eccentric aroma. Further, the geographical conditions and agro-ecological situation of Manipur is best suited for cultivation of Black Rice.

Ergo, it is anticipated that this GI tag will instigate commercial cultivation and trading of Chak Hao, globally, and also award loyalty to our farmers.