TRICHY: Tamil Nadu State Agriculture Marketing Board, Melapuliyankudi Farmers Association and Virudhunagar Chilli Merchants Association have each applied for a GI (geographical indication) label for Thooyamalli rice, acid lime Puliyankudi and vathal samba Virudhunagar (cold) respectively.
More than 230 varieties of traditional rice are recorded in Tamil Nadu. Among these indigenous varieties, Thooyamalli rice has special characteristics as it is literally pure jasmine in color and the taste of fermented rice is similar to tender coconut water and it is used to increase nerve strength. This is grown in various parts of the state.
Puliyankudi, a village in Tenkasi district, is famous for its sour lime cultivation. It is locally called the Lemon City of Tamil Nadu. Lemon juices are very acidic with titratable acidity. According to sources and documents, the historical origin of Puliyankudi acid lime dates back to at least 1940.
Virudhunagar samba peppers are local cultivars or local varieties. They are variable plant populations adapted to local agro-climatic conditions, which are locally named, selected and maintained by traditional farmers to meet their social, economic, cultural and ecological needs.
P Sanjai Gandhi, Government Solicitor and Nodal Registrar of Geographical Indications of Products, Government of Tamil Nadu, filed the applications for these three agricultural products with the GI Registry. Sanjai specializes in Intellectual Property Rights and has been instrumental in securing GI label for over 15 products in Tamil Nadu.