Srinagar: In a momentous development for the cultural and agricultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir, recently Chikri wood craft from Rajouri district and Mushqbudji Rice from Anantnag district were granted the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tags.
This recognition not only showcases the unique qualities and origins of these products but also opens new avenues for economic growth and global recognition for the region.
The Geographical Indication tag is a mark of authenticity and ensures that a product is linked to a specific geographical area. It certifies that the product possesses qualities, reputation, or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that location.
In the case of Chikri wood craft and Mushqbudji Rice, these GI tags underline the distinctive essence and cultural importance embedded in these offerings.
Chikri wood craft, a traditional art form from the Rajouri district has a history that dates back centuries. Skilled artisans create intricate wooden items using a technique passed down through generations. The GI tag not only safeguards the craft from imitations but also promotes it on the global stage. Tourists and art enthusiasts flock to witness the creation of these masterpieces, thereby boosting local tourism and creating employment opportunities for artisans.
A Chikri artisan while talking to Precious Kashmir expressed his elation, stating, “The GI tag is a symbol of our heritage and craftsmanship. It will help us preserve this art form and bring it to the attention of the world. Our products will now stand out in the market as authentic and unique.”
Mushqbudji Rice, a traditional aromatic rice variety grown in the lush fields of Anantnag district, has also been granted the GI tag. Known for its distinctive fragrance and exceptional taste, this rice variety has long been a staple in Kashmiri cuisine. With the GI tag, Mushqbudji Rice gains recognition as a product rooted in the region’s fertile soil and climatic conditions. This recognition is expected to enhance the demand for the rice both domestically and internationally.
A local rice farmer said, “Our Mushqbudji Rice has been grown in our fields for generations. The GI tag will help us showcase its uniqueness to the world and increase its market value. This recognition is a source of pride for our entire community.”
Pertinently, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a series of traditional products obtaining the GI tag in recent years. These include the succulent Saffron from Pampore, the exquisite Pashmina shawls and other items. The GI tag has enabled these products to establish a strong identity, leading to increased demand and international recognition.
Experts believe that the GI tag will not only bring economic benefits to Chikri wood craft and Mushqbudji Rice producers but will also contribute to the overall growth of the region. With their newfound status, these products are poised to capture the attention of discerning consumers both in India and around the world.
An economist specializing in local industries, stated, “The GI tag acts as a mark of quality and authenticity, giving these products a competitive edge. As these J&K products carve a niche in national and international markets, they contribute to the economic development of the region by creating more jobs, boosting tourism, and fostering a sense of pride among locals.”
“Chikri wood craft and Mushqbudji Rice are poised to make their mark on the global stage, further enhancing J&K’s reputation as a hub of exceptional craftsmanship and natural bounty,” he added.