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Rasagola, Sweet Delicacy of Odisha, Gets Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

The mouth-watering sweet has been registered under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999

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Chennai based GI Registry has granted the GI tag to 'Odisha Rasagola'. Pixabay

 Rasagola, the sweet delicacy of Odisha, got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on Monday, signalling the end of the bitter battle with West Bengal over the origin of the famous Indian sweet.

Chennai based GI Registry has granted the GI tag to ‘Odisha Rasagola’. The mouth-watering sweet has been registered under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The tag will remain valid till February 22, 2028.

The GI tag is a name or sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation of that origin.

Earlier, the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited had submitted the required documents for getting the GI status for ‘Odisha Rasagola’.

Rasagola, Odisha, Sweet
Rasagola, the sweet delicacy of Odisha, got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on Monday, signalling the end of the bitter battle with West Bengal over the origin of the famous Indian sweet. Pixabay

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his happiness after Odisha received the GI tag for the sweet delicacy.

“Happy to share that #Odisha Rasagola has received GI Tag in Geographical Indication Registry. This mouth-watering culinary delight made of cottage cheese, loved across the world, is offered to Lord Jagannath as part of bhog since centuries,” Patnaik tweeted.

Odisha had moved the GI Registry for its version of the delicacy after West Bengal was awarded the GI tag for it’s variant ‘Banglara Rasagulla’ in November 2017.

Odisha had been claiming that the famous delicacy originated in the state years ago as it was first served at the Lord Jagannath Temple, the 12th-century shrine in Puri.

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The word Rasagola was written in the ‘Dandi Ramayana’ by Odia poet Balaram Das in the 15th century. However, the Bengal Rasagola was introduced by Kolkata-based confectioner Nobin Chandra Das in 1868, said researcher on Jagannath Cult Asit Mohanty, who submitted a report to the state government.

West Bengal and Odisha have been engaged in a bitter legal battle over the origin of the Rasagola.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Orissa High Court in February 2018, seeking the GI tag for ‘Odisha Rasagola’ and scrapping the tag received by West Bengal. (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)