Wednesday December 11, 2019

Bengal submits GI tag application to stake claim on rosogolla

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: To beat Odisha and stake claim on the rosogolla, West Bengal has submitted the application for a  GI (Geographical Indication) tag for the sugary delicacy, a minister said.

“We have filed an application for GI on September 18 with full support from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay, science and technology minister stated on Tuesday here.

The syrupy, soft spongy balls of Indian cottage cheese, the rosogollas, have virtually unleashed a war between two Indian states.

Both Odisha and West Bengal have entered the fray to stake their claim on the famed dessert.

The Odisha government recently decided to form three committees which will counter Bengal’s claim as the birthplace of rosogolla.

But Chattopadhyay said the state government is not considering forming any such committees at the moment to counter the move.

Bengal is claiming that Nabin Chandra Das had introduced the sweet in 1868, while the Odisha government said the tradition of offering rosogolla by Lord Jagannath to Goddess Laxmi on the day of Niladri Bije (the day when the deities return to their abode after the annual Rath Yatra) is at least 300 years old indicating it was much older than the 150-year history of Bengal’s rosogolla.

“Bengal is the birth place of rosogolla and we prepared a detailed dossier on its origins based on evidence from Das family and historian Haripada Bhowmik. There is no question on the origins as far as Bengal is concerned,” the minister said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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This is How Stubble Burning is Avoided in Odisha

The state is one of the largest producers of rice in the country

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Stubble Burning, Odisha, North India
Agriculture in Odisha is the mainstay of the majority of the populace. Pixabay

Unlike north India, crop stubble burning is not prevalent in Odisha even though it has started making inroads unto several parts of the coastal state.

Air pollution due to stubble burning has turned a critical health hazard in north India.

Agriculture in Odisha is the mainstay of the majority of the populace. The state is one of the largest producers of rice in the country. The state government has fixed a target of procuring 60 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the kharif marketing season (KMS), 2019-20.

However, instead of burning the stubble, the farmers use the paddy straw in various ways such as cattle feed, compost manure, roofing of thatched houses, biomass energy and mushroom cultivation.

Stubble Burning, Odisha, North India
Air pollution due to stubble burning has turned a critical health hazard in north India. Pixabay

“In Odisha, we don’t resort to paddy residue burning unlike in north India where pollution level has increased manifold due to crop stubble burning and other reasons. We cut down the paddy straw and bring it for using cattle fodder and roofing of thatched houses,” said farmer leader Akshay Kumar.

“I have purchased paddy straw of Rs 50,000 for mushroom cultivation. I have been doing mushroom cultivation for several years. Sometimes, I have purchased paddy straw at a higher price as many people have adopted the cultivation since it gives good profit,” said Stephenson Sahu from Patharkhamb village in Dhenkanal district.

Moreover, Odisha is going to have a Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-Refinery, first in the country to produce ethanol using rice straw as feedstock, in Bargarh district, one of the major paddy producing districts in the state.

The bio-refinery to be set up by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will utilise about two lakh tonnes of rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations.

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The agriculture sector provides employment to more than 60 per cent of the population, making it the largest employment sector of the state.

The state has total geographical area of 155.71 lakh hectares of which total cultivated land is about 61.80 lakh hectares, which constitute about 39.69% of the total geographical area of the state. Small and marginal farmers form more than 90% of the farming community, according to a report of the Agriculture Department. (IANS)