Actes de la Conférence > Contributions par auteur > A M Radhika

Does Geographical Indicator contribute to agricultural sustainability? Lessons from Kaipad rice ecosystem of Kerala, India
Radhika A M  1, *@  , Rajesh K Raju  2@  
1 : School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
Länggasse 85, CH-3052 Zollikofen -  Suisse
2 : Kerala Agricultural University
* : Auteur correspondant

Over years, the agricultural food systems have developed new quality conventions and have moved towards product differentiation and quality specifications. With the increasing awareness of food safety associated with higher level of literacy and media access, coupled with higher purchasing power, there is a growing demand for agriculture product which are grown under organic conditions in India. But even before this popularity Kaipad, an ecologically responsive rice cultivation system practiced in Kerala, a southern state of India was organically productive for generations. The farmers of Kaipad kept their fields under natural controls even when the global community shifted to industrial farming. Kaipad rice has been included in the Geographical Indications (GI) registry in 2014 (GI application No. 242) for its unique cultivation practices.

Our study provides a micro perspective on the impact of GI registration to the farming community as well as its contribution to the sustainability of the system. Profitability of any crop is determined by the value of crop and cost of cultivation. Cost of cultivation, cost of production and different measures of marketing efficiency were estimated for Kaipad rice post GI registration. The findings show that GI recognition has brought about collective actions in the area and as a result the stakeholders are experiencing positive income effects. It is to be noted that high yielding Ezhome varieties also comes under the purview of registration. Yield gap analysis for traditional and high yielding varieties reveals that the breeding efforts of rice scientists has also contributed towards the betterment of farm incomes in the area. The value added in the region via GI recognition through preservation of local breeds and resource sustainability can make concrete contributions to long-term environmental conservation. Evidence from Kaipad also confirms that increasing producer welfare can interest and engage more farmers into the system to save tradition and preserve it for new generation. In nutshell, GI recognition has contributed towards socioeconomic and environmental sustainability of Kaipad tracts.

If the question is about whether Kaipad rice has fully justified their GI status?. In the developing country context, geographical indications could be a tool with which producers can do wonders, only if they try and enter the niche markets through well crafted marketing strategy. Comparing with the classic example of ‘Champagne ‘, which is said to have taken as long as 150 years to develop the premium brand-image, Kaipad rice is at its infancy. More time, patience, resources, quality control mechanisms, product differentiation and popularisation strategies need to be invested. In the short period of less than 10 years, the benefits it achieved in terms of rural development and natural resource sustainability is worth commendable.

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