A study conducted by the Centre for WTO Studies at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade has identified geographical indication (GI) as a key area for policy initiatives within one year.
The study, commissioned by the Department of Commerce, suggests the use of e-shops to allow small producers and artisans to do away with middlemen and sell their products directly to consumers. These producers, through their portals will get support from the government and even be able to forge alliances with other online retailers.
The study is in line with the Foreign Trade Policy for 2015-2020. India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act in 1999 and 228 products had received GI registration by March 2015.
However, the study noted that the government needed to help the producers leverage GI as a marketing tool. “Most of the producers and artisans of GI products in India severely lack the wherewithal and the capacity to undertake post-registration activities for marketing and brand building of their products,” the study noted.
The study suggests that small entrepreneurs, producers and artisans tie up with e-retail giants like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to ensure a better reach of their products. Having said this, they noted that checks and balances would have to be put in place to avoid misuse of GI and to protect producers.
While the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development plans to create dedicated websites and e-commerce portal for GI products along with a mobile app, an e-commerce site for Banarasi saris is also in the works.