Salem district in the state of Tamil Nadu has gained acclaim for its sago production, which is widely recognized as Sabudana. Salem Sago, locally known as Javvarisi, is derived from the wet starch powder extracted from tapioca roots. Indian tapioca roots are known to contain approximately 30-35% starch content.
Sago production has been a cornerstone of Salem’s economic development since 1967. Currently, over 80% of sago in India is produced in the Salem region, with a significant portion marketed through Sagoserve.
GI Tag Application for Salem Sago by Sagoserve
The request for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Salem Sago (Javvarisi) was filed by the Salem Starch and Sago Manufacturers Service Industrial Co-operative Society Limited, commonly known as Sagoserve.
The GI tag can significantly boost business for farmers in the Salem region and the over-400 sago and starch units in areas like Salem, Erode, Nammakal, and Dharmapuri. These regions have a long-standing tradition of sago production.
Salem: The Tapioca Heartland and the Land of Sago
Salem district utilizes nearly 35,000 hectares of land for tapioca cultivation, with yields averaging between 25-30 tonnes per hectare. Sago has a low calorific value (310 kcal/100g) and ranges in size from 2 to 4.5 mm. Remarkably, one kilogram of tapioca sago can be produced from five kilograms of tapioca tubers.
The district’s advantages, such as abundant raw materials, cost-effective labor, and extended sunlight hours, make it an ideal hub for tapioca-based products like sago and starch. This has earned Salem the reputation of being the ‘Land of Sago,’ even on international platforms.
Sago: A Multi-Industry Player with Remarkable Economic Value
Sago finds applications in diverse industries, including food, paper, construction, textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, mining, and alcohol, underscoring its economic significance.
Benefits of GI Tags
The registration of a Geographical Indication offers several advantages:
- Legal Protection: It provides legal safeguards to protect GI-tagged products from unauthorized use.
- Prevention of Unlawful Use: GI tags prevent others from using the prestigious product name without authorization.
- Quality Assurance: Consumers can be confident in the quality and authenticity of GI-tagged products.
- Economic Prosperity: The demand for GI-tagged goods in national and international markets is enhanced, thereby promoting economic prosperity for the producers.
Significance of GI Tags
A GI tag grants certain rights to those authorized to use it, allowing them to prohibit its usage by third parties whose products do not meet the specified standards. However, it’s important to note that a protected GI does not restrict someone from producing a similar product using the same methods outlined in the standards for that