GI tag for Veerangere Badanekaayi soon

GI tag for Veerangere Badanekaayi soon

The five-year long wait for Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for Veerangere Badanekaayi or brinjal, the distinct horticulture produce of Mysuru district, may soon end.

The State Horticulture Department will expedite the process for acquiring the tag.

At a recent meeting of the screening committee constituted for this purpose, it was decided to exert pressure on the authorities concerned to grant the prestigious tag.

The eponymous crop was earlier grown in Veerangere, a village in Old Mysuru, named after a gallant soldier in the army of the erstwhile rulers, the Wadiyars of Mysuru.

The brinjal variety popularly known as ‘Veerangere or Eerangere Badanekaayi’, is still available in two types – snuff and green coloured, but very short in length akin to the fingers. When compared to the other varieties of brinjal, Veerangere brinjal during harvest is in bunches, with every flower of the plant, after the sprouting season, producing four to five brinjals in a bunch. It is mostly used as a side dish and especially in ‘Vaangi Baath’, a rice dish.

Though there has been a fall in production and supply, the vegetable has its own steady stream of customers.

Horticulture department senior director Krishna Kumar told Deccan Herald that the proposal was pending from 2009. It was listed among the second batch, along with the crops from other districts in the State.

The State Directorate of Horticulture is expected to give it a push,  with the delay in getting the tag being a matter of concern, as discussed in the recent meeting in Bengaluru.

The crop earlier grown on a vast area, in and around Veerangere, was later shifted to other places within the district. While the rapid urbanisation at Veerangere, now sporting a ghetto look, took a toll on the crop, the inhabitants of the village, who had inherited brinjal farming, continued to cultivate it near Bannur and T Narsipur, Krishnaraje Urs, a horticulture enthusiast said.

According to Urs, the brinjal may now be cultivated in less than 15 acres near Keelanpura and Megalapura on Mysore-T Narsipur Road, and the supply too is limited to Devaraja Market, roadside vendors and some vegetable shops having regular demand for the vegetable, in Mysuru.

The geographical indications registry comes under the purview of General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, Chennai. Once a proposal is placed before the registry, personnel attached to the registry are expected to make a field study.

The field visit in this  case is yet to happen, while the proposal is pending before the registry.

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