Srinagar, Oct 02:
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated the week-long 'GI Mahotsav' at Kashmir Haat, Srinagar today. The event serves as an outstanding platform for farmers, craftspeople, artisans, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders from across the country to showcase their products and exchange best practices for the commercialization of Geographical Indication (GI)-tagged products.
Highlighting the importance of GI Tags, which aim to protect and promote products originating from specific geographical areas, Lt. Governor Sinha emphasized their potential to boost Jammu and Kashmir's economy and increase the export of protected products. GI Tags for local products from J&K, such as Bhaderwah Rajmash, Ramban Sulai Honey, Rajouri Chikri Wood Craft, Mushqbudji Rice, Basohli Painting, and Kashmir Saffron, will safeguard them from counterfeiting and unfair competition while enhancing their sales value.
The Lt. Governor commended the efforts of the UT Administration under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote the unique characteristics of agriculture, food, and handmade products in J&K. He underlined that GIs of J&K products have the potential to be a game-changer for the rural economy, benefiting the entire community of producers.
Stressing the need for an effective campaign to popularize GIs, Lt. Governor Sinha noted that over 504 GIs of India reflect the ancient cultural values and diversity of products in the agriculture and handicraft sectors. He emphasized the importance of protecting and promoting these products through brand positioning and innovative marketing strategies to boost exports and gain higher values in the global market.
The Lt. Governor urged producers, farmers, trade associations, and the administration to collaborate in strengthening product, communication, and distribution networks to bridge the gap between producers and consumers. He also emphasized the importance of quality, product specifications, and regulations to protect the interests of small-marginal farmers and small handicraft units.
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Shri Som Prakash, expressed gratitude to Lt. Governor Sinha for organizing the GI Mahotsav on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. He reiterated the Central Government's commitment to promoting local products from Jammu and Kashmir and providing them platforms in both domestic and global markets.
During the event, Lt. Governor Sinha distributed GI certificates for J&K's products and unveiled a publication focusing on the agriculture sector of the UT. He also visited the stalls showcasing unique and niche GI-tagged products from various parts of the country.
With more than 100 stalls featuring GI products from Jammu and Kashmir and different regions of the country, the Kashmir Haat Exhibition Ground has become a hub for celebrating and promoting India's diverse GI heritage.
Several dignitaries including Padma Shri Dr. Rajnikant, General Secretary of the Human Welfare Association, Sh. Aftab Malik, Chairman of DDC Srinagar, Sh. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt. Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, Sh. Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary of Agriculture Production Department, Sh. Vikramjit Singh, Commissioner Secretary of Industries & Commerce, Vice-Chancellors of various universities, HoDs, officers of the UT administration, and a large number of farmers, craftspeople, and artisans graced the occasion with their presence.