The unique and popular Tamenglong Orange and Sirarakhong Hathei Chilly have earned Geographical Indication (GI) tag, according to official sources.
As speculated last year after locally grown ‘Chak Hao’, black rice from Manipur bagged the GI tag in May 2020 from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Tamenglong Orange (Citrus reticulata) possibility of getting a GI tag certification was already in the cards as indicated by Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA).
Sirarakhong Hathei is a long chilly variety having its unique taste and colour which grows in Sirarakhong village in Ukhrul district only. Kachai Lemon, a unique lemon variety found only in Kachai village under Ukhrul district which contains high ascorbic acid was accorded GI tag in 2015.
Manipur’s Tamenglong Orange Festival is celebrated every December while Sirarakhong (village) Hathei Phanit usually takes place in the first week of September. However, a villager from Sirarakhong informed Ukhrul Times that the village has not celebrated Hathei Phanit for the last two years owing to Covid-19 pandemic.
Also read: On Luirim GI Tag
Chief minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh announcing the good news, took to twitter and said, “What a great start to the day for Manipur! I’m really happy to share that 2 (two) products of Manipur viz Hathei Chilly & Tamenglong orange have been granted GI Tag. This is a historic milestone in the history of Manipur which will increase the income of the farmers immensely.”
GI tag is a name or a sign given to a certain product that has a specific geographical location or origin. Similarly, Sikkim’s Dalle Khursani, one of world’s spiciest chillies which has a range of 1,00,000 to 3,50,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) was given a GI tag in 2020 on the basis of an application filed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited in Guwahati.
The famous Naga Bhut Jolokia pepper popular in Manipur as Umarok and Nagaland has SHU of 855,000 to 1,050,000.