Fact Check: Tezpur Litchi's GI tag 'news' is from 2015
Trust social media to turn even the oldest and most regular information into 'latest' news. Yesterday, various media outlets media reported that the Tezpur Litchi got the Geographical Indication(GI) tag. However, documents available on the website of Ministry of Commerce & Industry reveal that the development is not new, and this happened way back in 2015.
On Friday in a tweet, India's leading export development authority, APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) said that the "#Tezpur #Litchi of #Assam have got the geographical indication (GI) tags, making this item an incontrovertible proof of their origins in the state, and protecting them from production elsewhere."
Following this, a number of leading media houses started writing about this, thereby making it sound this was a recent development.
However, according to the information available in the website of Officer of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, it is clear that the application for the GI tag of the Tezpur Litchi was filed on August 28, 2013, by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited(NERAMAC).
The GI tag was finally granted on March 27, 2015 by the Geographical Indications Registry of India with a validity up to August 28, 2023, with a GI number of 438 under class 31.
A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
The Tezpur Litchi of 60% juice, 8% rag, 19 % seed and 13% skin varying upon variety and climate. The fruit is also a source of vitamin C. It also contains insignificant amount of protein (0.8-0.9%), fat 0.3%, pectin 0.49% and minerals specially Calcium, Phosphorus and iron (0.9%).
Apart from the Tezpur Litchi, Assam Tea (Orthodox) Logo (2008), Muga Silk of Assam Logo (2013), Assam Karbi Anglong Ginger (2015) and Joha Rice of Assam (2017) have the GI tags from Assam.
The state-wise registration details of the GI tags are available here.