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From Tejpatta to Munsiyari Rajma, Check out Uttarakhand's Distinct Agri Products

Tejpatta was the first product from Uttarakhand to receive the GI tag in May 2016.

Shruti Kandwal
Tejpatta was the first product from Uttarakhand to receive the GI tag in May 2016.
Tejpatta was the first product from Uttarakhand to receive the GI tag in May 2016.

The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is exceptional in the sense that it possesses geographical indications (GIs) for various agricultural products and cultural artifacts, as well as for goods made of copper and fur from animals. However, in this article, we'll focus on agricultural products.

Tejpatta (May 2016)

Tejpatta, or Indian bay leaf, was the first product from Uttarakhand to receive the GI tag in May 2016, with technical help and mentoring provided by the GEF of the UNDP (botanical name: Cinnamomum Tamala). All of the state's hill regions between the elevations of 1,000 and 2,000 meters have shaded places where tejpatta is grown. Over 10,000 farmers directly benefit from the product, as well as the intermediaries and dealers involved in the 1,000 MT yearly crop's value chain.

A state-level organization called the Uttarakhand Tejpatta Samiti in Gopeshwar helps farmers in achieving better prices for their produce at terminal markets in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Tanakpur and Haldwani, respectively. The Herbal Research and Development Institute in Gopeshwar, in the Chamoli district, serves as Tejpatta's mentor organization.

Kumaon's Chyura Oil (September 2021)

Since the beginning of time, the Himalayan people have had spiritual and cultural ties to this Kalpabriksha, also known as Kalpavriksha. Chyura, also known as the Indian Butter Tree (Diplonema Butyracea), is an economically significant but little-known and underutilized multipurpose tree of the Himalayas, naturally occurring at a height of 1,600 meters. In the districts of Pithoragarh, Almora, Bageshwar, and Nainital in Kumaon, chyura is widely grown. A source of numerous products, including seeds for oil, flower nectar for honey, edible fruits with medicinal properties, wood for small timber, fuel, and furniture, and leaves for cow fodder, this plant has historically been utilized for beekeeping. These trees typically flourish on riverine settlements or in shadowy valleys.

The extraction of chyura oil is a rising domestic activity in the neighborhood. It is almost universally used as vegetable and paratha cooking oil

The food has a distinct flavor due to the oil's slightly bitter or overpowering flavor. Locally referred to as "poor man's butter," this Chyura butter or ghee that has solidified is primarily utilized for home purposes but is also sold in nearby towns when there is excess. This ghee is said to be very nutritious and medicinal.

Munsiyari Rajma (September 2021)

We now come to Munsiyari Rajma. The town of Munsiyari (2,200 m), which is located at the entrance of the Johar valley, is where it gets its name. It was a crucial trade route with Tibet prior to the 1962 India-China War. Due to the heavy snowfall in these regions, many settlements are only occupied from May until the beginning of November. Rajma is typically grown as a significant Kharif pulse in the spring. In contrast to other types, Munsiyari kidney beans are bigger and have an unusual off-white color. These are known for their delicious flavor and high protein and fiber content.

More than 80% of the women who have been recognized as women farmers and who cultivate this pulse are members of the Bhotiya community. In fields of maize and potato, rajma is grown as a mixed crop. In comparison to other varieties of rajma, this small-sized kidney bean has a unique and subtle texture, softness, sweetness, and aroma and requires 25 to 30 minutes less cooking time.

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