Two states, backed by two industry bodies, have applied for a GI tag for a low-cholesterol chicken
It is a ‘cockfight’ like none other, with both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh claiming the Kadaknath—a low-cholesterol, blackplumed chicken—as an indigenous breed. Things appear headed for a showdown with Bhoomgaadi, a Dantewada-based farm produce company supported by the district administration, set to file an application for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Kadaknath with the GI Registry, Chennai. The Chhattisgarh-based company’s claim is in conflict with a 2012 application by the MP government claiming that the breed was native to Jhabua district.
Interestingly, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) are pitted against each other in the indigeneity claims. While Ficci is in talks with the Dantewada district administration to move an application for a GI tag, CII is pushing MP’s case. “Chhattisgarh will have to prove Kadaknath’s origins in Dantewada,” says the CII’s deputy director, Anil Pandey.
In Dantewada, the state government has helped 28 self-help groups and a dozen individual beneficiaries to set up poultry farms to breed the Kadaknath. Subsidised to the extent of 95 per cent, the Kadaknath breeding project has emerged as a successful livelihood alternative for tribals, with markets like Hyderabad fetching prices as high as Rs 500 a kg—nearly five times more than that of broiler chicken. The success has prompted Dantewada’s district magistrate, Saurabh Kumar, to push for a GI tag. The move is certain to be challenged by MP, which not only has a similar application by the Jhabua-based Grameen Vikas Trust but also a thriving Kadaknath breeding programme involving women self-help groups. Jhabua’s breeders have marketing chains in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
If successful, the twin GI tag applications could impact the trade in the black-feathered fowl. “If the ownership of a produce is spread over more than one area, its value will decrease,” says Vivek Singh, deputy director, IPR (intellectual property rights) activities, Ficci.
BREEDING KADAKNATH Selfhelp groups in both states have benefitted