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Intellectual Property Rights

GI tag for Manipur black rice, ‘Chakhao’

Chakhao, a scented glutinous rice which has been in cultivation in Manipur over centuries, is characterised by its special aroma. Chakhao has also been used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine. GI has great potential to play a major role in trade and there is a possibility of preserving many traditional skills.

As defined by WIPO, a geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. A study published by the European Commission concluded that the sales value of a product with a protected name is on average double that for similar products without a certification.

The application for Chakhao was filed by the Consortium of Producers of Chakhao (Black Rice), Manipur and was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Manipur and the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited.

Read more at NorthEast Now

Categories
Agriculture Food Security Regenerative Agriculture

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

“Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. It involves, incorporating permaculture and organic farming practices, including conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, composting, mobile animal shelters and pasture cropping, to increase food production, farmers’ income and especially, topsoil.

Only 60 years of farming left if soil degradation continues. About a third of the world’s soil has already been degraded and causes of soil destruction include chemical-heavy farming techniques and deforestation. Generating three centimeters of top soil takes about a 1,000 years.

The loss of the world’s fertile soil and biodiversity, along with the loss of indigenous seeds and knowledge, pose a mortal threat to our future survival. Without protecting and regenerating the soil on our 4 billion acres of cultivated farmland, 8 billion acres of pastureland, and 10 billion acres of forest land, it will be impossible to feed the world. Allan Savory gave a TED talk on fighting desertification and reversing climate change in 2013.

Categories
Fisheries

Fish skin leather: artisans and designers are breathing new life into the tradition

Fish skin leather used to be commonplace in many cultures. As practical and pervasive as the material was, the practice of making fish skin leather faded in the 20th century. Its loss is intertwined with colonialism and assimilation. Now, it’s making a comeback. Fish skin leather is also emerging as a commodity in the world of fashion; in recent years, the material has caught the eye of designers who want to incorporate it into luxury items.

Commercial interest in fish skin leather is partly a result of consumers’ environmental and ethical concerns about the global leather supply chain. Most conventional leather like snakeskin and alligator skin is produced using harsh chemicals, such as chromium salts, which cause respiratory ailments and persistent skin ulcers in tannery workers.

Making fish skin leather is a gentler process than making conventional leather. It requires fewer harsh chemicals. Fish skin is a byproduct of the food industry that often goes to waste. Every tonne of filleted fish amounts to about 40 kilograms of skins. Fish skin leather is thin but remarkably strong because its fibers crisscross.

The revival of fish skin leather is more than the rediscovery of a craft. In a time of environmental crises, using local resources to their full extent may be an idea worth reviving.

Read more at Hakai Magazine

Categories
Uncategorized

‘Apple detectives’ find 10 lost fruit varieties

A team of retirees that scours the remote ravines and windswept plains of the Pacific Northwest for long-forgotten pioneer orchards has rediscovered 10 apple varieties that were believed to be extinct. But the men, who make up the nonprofit Lost Apple Project, won’t see the fruits of their labor this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. Each fall, they collect hundreds of apples from long-abandoned orchards that they find using old maps, county fair records, newspaper clippings and nursery sales ledgers that can tell them which homesteader bought what apple tree and when the purchase happened.

The task is huge. North America once had 17,000 named varieties of domesticated apples, but only about 4,500 are known to exist today. With the 10 latest varieties identified, Brandt and Benscoter have rediscovered a total of 23 varieties. The latest finds include the Sary Sinap, an ancient apple from Turkey; the Streaked Pippin, which may have originated as early as 1744 in New York; and the Butter Sweet of Pennsylvania, a variety that was first noted in a trial orchard in Illinois in 1901.

Read more at APnews