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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Banganapalli mango gets GI tag : பங்கனப்பள்ளி மாம்பழம்

**  பெரிய மாக்கனி, பலாக்கனி, பிறங்கிய வாழை; அரிய மாக் களி, கடுவன்கள்  அன்பு கொண்டு அளிப்பன ** :  கம்பனுடைய இராம காதை - அயோத்தியா  காண்டம்

As the mercury shoots up and as people start predicting that ‘this year summer is going to be more hot’ …. People start thinking of delicious mango season.  Every place have their own variety of mangoes – some to be eaten ripe, some green and raw and some pickled and devoured.  Mangoes have enriched the literature ~ So many stories, real as well as apocryphal, are associated with this sublime fruit. Like cricket among all sports, mango among all fruits has lent itself to the folklore of Indian and subcontinental literature.  Every place in India,  have their own variety of mangoes – some to be eaten ripe, some green and raw and some pickled and devoured.  Sure you can add more to this list ……..Alphonso, Totapuri, Aambaat, Banganapalli,  Neelam, Sindhoori, Malda, Pairi, Chandrakaran, Alphonso, Langra, Gulaab khaas, peddarasalu, Kesar, dashehari, movandhan, mallika …..   

Almost every state boasts of their great stock and variety. There are approximately 500-1000 cultivars of different mangoes in the country. This huge variety not only differs in its shape, size, and color but also in its rich taste. Found in Andhra Pradesh, these mangoes have a gorgeous yellow color and are sweet and fiberless. An unspoiled obliquely oval specimen presents an unblemished golden yellow thin edible skin. These mangoes are large sized, weighing on an average 350-400 grams. Fortunately, this sweet delight is found for three months from April to June.  No prizes for guessing ~ it is ‘banganapalli’.

Banganapalle [or BanaganaPalli] is a town in Andhra Pradesh, in Kurnool district, 70 km south of the town of Kurnool.  Between 1790 and 1948, Banganapalle was the capital of the princely state of the same name, Banganapalle State. It has a deeper history.  In 1601, Sultan Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur conquered the fortress of Banganapalle from Raja Nanda Chakravathy.  Its rulers were the last to sign the accession to the Indian Union on 23 February 1948.  In 1953, the northern districts of Madras State, including Kurnool District, became the new state of Andhra, which in 1956 became Andhra Pradesh.

It has achieved more fame from its loved mango ‘banganapalli mango’ and the news is that the  succulent Banganapalle mango has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness. The Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, accorded the registration following an application from Horticulture Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh government now  is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.” A GI tag indicates that the product comes from a specific region. Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in the State. It is variedly  known as Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai and Safeda.  The fruits can retain their quality under cold storage even up to three months, Andhra Pradesh government stated  in documents seeking GI. “The prominent characteristic of Banganapalle mangoes is that their skin has very light spots, stone is oblong in shape and has very thin seed with sparse and soft fibre all over,” it said.

The primary centre of origin of the fruit is Kurnool district comprising Banaganapalle, Paanyam and Nandyal mandals, according to Andhra Pradesh government which mentioned Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra as secondary centres of origin. The government has also listed Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak and Adilabad districts in Telangana as secondary centres of origin. Submitting documents for proof of origin, it also cited historical records like a “war fund seal (Banganapally-State Madras War Fund Seal).” A logo too is in place — featuring a bright yellow fruit around which the tagline says “Banganappalle Mangoes of Andhra Pradesh,” with images of a man and a woman appearing to be farmers.

According to an affidavit furnished in 2011 by the then Andhra Pradesh Commissioner of Horticulture,  nearly 7.68 lakh families were involved in the production of Banaganapalle mangoes. About 5,500 tonnes of Banganappalle variety of mangoes are being exported annually to countries like the U.S. and U.K. While the annual turnover of Banaganapalle mangoes was approximately 461 crore, exports were to the tune of 20.68 crore, it is stated.

GI is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. A GI tag certifies the origin of a product or produce from a particular region as the quality or other features of the product is attributable only to the place of its origin. The tag helps farmers or manufacturers, as the case may be, to get a better price in the market.

மாம்பழமாம் மாம்பழம் - மல்கோவா மாம்பழம்; இப்போது
மாம்பழமாம் மாம்பழம் - பங்கனப்பள்ளி மாம்பழம் !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th May 2017

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