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Hyderabad: After a long wait, the Banganapalle mango has received the geographical indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the owner of the variety that originates in its Kurnool district.

The Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry (RGIR) granted Banganapalle the GI status on Wednesday on a six-year-old application from Andhra Pradesh’s horticulture department.

The Banganapalle mango is one the most preferred varieties of the fruit in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The application for the GI tag was made in 2011, prior to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 to create Telangana.

Chiranjiv Chowdhary, commissioner of the horticulture department, said that it took time to obtain the GI tag because of the bifurcation, which followed a five-year campaign for the creation of Telangana.

“We collected documents to show that the mango variety originated in Banganapalle, Kurnool district. The department took the help of the Dr YSR Horticulture University in West Godavari district to document things like the fruit’s tissue culture and for other scientific analysis that was required," said Chowdhary.

After the origin data was collected, the horticulture department asked the Andhra Pradesh Technology Development and Promotion Centre and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to represent the case at the RGIR in Chennai, Chowdhary said.

“After the four-month objection period was over, we got confirmation about the GI tag on 3 May. The official certificate will be sent through post," he added.

Ch. Padmavathi, deputy director with the horticulture department, said the Banganapalle mango’s shape, beak and taste make it unique.

While originating primarily from the Banganapalle, Paanyam and Nandyal mandals (administrative units) of Kurnool district, the fruit is also cultivated in parts of other districts like Chittoor and Kadapa, she added.

In its application to RGIR, the Andhra Pradesh government also listed Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak and Adilabad districts in neighbouring Telangana as secondary centres of origin of the Banganapalle.

Padmavathi and Chowdhary said that with the receipt of the GI tag, the horticulture department will start branding the Banganapalle mango variety in the coming days.

“Only 1% of the total yield is presently exported because farmers are satisfied with domestic sales," said Padmavathi.

With an area of 335,000 hectares under cultivation by 90,000-100,000 farmers, the Banganapalle’s produce for this year is estimated at about 3.015 million tonnes, she added.

RVSK Reddy, director (extension), who was on the team which collected data to get the GI tag from the Dr YSR Horticulture University, said the data was collected for over two years from various places and molecular characterization of the Banganapalle mango was also done.

“In this case, if you plant a nut (seed), there is no guarantee that you will get the same fruit. You have to use the grafting technique for the plant to bear fruits," he said.

A scion from a choice variety of the original plant will be grafted on a rootstock, as part of the grafting technique, explained Reddy.

“The mango variety is vegetatively propagated to get the ‘true-to-type’ variety," he explained.

The life of the Banganapalle mango after it fully ripens is about 10 to 12 days and more than a month in cold storage.

Chowdhary said his department will get farmers to become part of the Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) which will be formed soon and registered under the Cooperative Societies Act. “We want to mobilise farmers and support them financially," he said.

PTI contributed to the story.

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