Similipal Kai Chutney Gets Geographical Indication Tag
The Similipal kai chutney, made with red weaver ants by the tribal people of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, received a geographical indication (GI) tag on January 2nd, 2024. The savory ant chutney is renowned in the region for its nutritional and medicinal properties.
GI Tag Application and Registration
The Mayurbhanj Kai Society Ltd applied for GI registration of Similipal kai chutney in 2020 under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The application highlighted the chutney’s uniqueness to Mayurbhanj and Similipal regions.
After evaluating the application, the GI Registry office in Chennai approved it and formally registered the Similipal kai chutney in the classification of food products. This assigns the origin rights of the ant chutney to tribal communities of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha.
Nutritional and Medicinal Value
Scientists from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology analyzed the chutney’s key ingredient – red weaver ants. They found the ants are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron and amino acids.
Regular consumption of Similipal kai chutney helps tribal people meet their nutritional requirements and boosts immunity against diseases. The pungent chutney also has healing properties and treats ailments like rheumatism, skin issues, and stomach problems.
Ant Collection and Chutney Preparation
Around 500 tribal families from the forests of Mayurbhanj district collect red weaver ants for income generation. They manage to sell large quantities of live ants and prepared kai chutney at local village markets.
The ants are harvested along with their eggs from tree nests and cleaned. The chutney is made by mixing ants with salt, spices like ginger and garlic, and green chilies. It has a unique hot and sour taste.
Increasing Popularity and Promotion
Earlier, kai chutney was popular only among tribal people. But Thanks to rising awareness, it has gained popularity in urban areas as well. The Mayurbhanj Kai Society with over 200 members now works to promote this traditional tribal delicacy through food festivals and campaigns.
The GI tag for Similipal kai chutney is a big boost for further increasing its visibility and spurring commercial demand. But care has to be taken to ensure ant harvesting practices remain sustainable.
Category: India Nation & States Current Affairs