Sojat Mehndi from Rajasthan has received the geographical indication (GI) tag from the government, a move that helps growers of this product get a premium price as no other producer can use the name to market similar goods.
"GI tag for Sojat Mehndi is a win-win for farmers, MSME players, artisans and consumers alike if we can leverage it to enhance its exports given its herbal cosmetic and medicinal uses. It will contribute to both employment and revenue," Rajasthan's Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mugdha Sinha told PTI.
A GI tag is used for an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.
According to experts, the tag gives protection to the producer of those genuine products which command premium pricing in domestic as well as international markets.
Once a product gets this tag, no person or company can sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for 10 years following which it can be renewed. GI is covered under a law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mehndi Vyapar Sangh Samiti, Sojat, Rajasthan, and the state's Department of Science and Technology are the registered proprietor of this GI tag.
Sojat Mehndi originates from mehndi leaves grown in Sojat. It is fully naturally cultivated by rainwater for getting high lawsone content in mehndi leaves.
Sojat tehsil of the Pali district in Rajasthan has several natural factors such as geological structure, topography and drainage system, climate and soil that makes it suitable for the crop.
By drying mehndi leaves, fragrant oil is also extracted. The leaves of the mehndi plant, bark, seeds and root are taken for medicinal use.