J&K govt pushes for GI tag for Doda Gucchi mushroom

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Jammu, Jan 13 (PTI) Marking a new age of heirloom crops and products, the government has taken a historical initiative by pushing for the geographical indication (GI) tag of 'Gucchi mushroom' produced in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, according to official spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that the Great Mission Group Consultancy Pune has submitted an application through Borderless World Foundation Chairman Adhik Kadam, facilitated by the Department of Agriculture Production, for its GI registration, to the Registrar GI Registry Chennai.

Ganesh Hingmire, chairman of the consultancy group, presented the copy of GI application to Principal Secretary Navin Choudhary, who lauded his efforts and also commended Doda Deputy Commissioner Sagar D Doifode for his painstaking efforts in projecting Doda Gucchi Mushroom for a global niche.

He added that Gucchi holds a special place among the costlier food items as an excellent and elite because of its high cost.

Choudhary said Doda Gucchi Mushroom is one of the most popular, flavourful, medicinally beneficial mushroom species found in the nearby forest areas of the Doda.

This mushroom variety is among the world's costliest food items that grow wild and collected manually, he said.

The farming community in the district traditionally collects the mushroom from forested areas through a well-managed community approach. Locally known as 'thunthoo', it is a familiar commodity among natives spread in the entire areas of the district.

Choudhary said the GI tag shall prevent unauthorised use of a registered geographical indication by others. It will provide legal protection to Doda Gucchi mushroom that will boost its exports, he added.

It will also promote economic prosperity of locals in the geographical territory as the farming community follows the practice of collection of Gucchi in the district from the forest areas from generations together. They penetrate deep inside dense forests for its collection, he said.

Hingmire expressed gratitude to the state's Department of Agriculture Production for extending all necessary support in documentation of the GI application, which has been accepted for further necessary action. PTI AB HRS