Glad tidings to all our readers! It is a happy Onam indeed, as Kerela adds another feather to its GI hat. Besides the ‘Palakkadan matta’ rice, ‘Vazhakkulam’ pineapple, ‘Pokkali’ rice, Wayanadan’ scented rice varieties ‘Gandhakasala’ and ‘Jeerakasala’ and Central Travancore jiggery, the ‘Changalikodan’ banana variety has also found a place in the GI list. The news of Kerela’s famous Nendran banana variety “Changalikodan” getting GI status was made official recently at a public event, by the Thrissur district panchayat president C.C. Sreekumar. Besides the official announcement Mr. Sreekumar also unveiled the GI logo for the beloved variety.
The variety originates from the erstwhile Chengazhikode village in Thrissur and what sets it apart from other varieties is its appearance and taste. It is grown extensively in Chowannur, Puzhakkal, Wadakkanchery, Pazhayannur and Ollukkara block panchayats, in Thrissur. As per expert opinion, the Chengalikodan banana variety with its inimitable characteristics has a sugar content of 26 to 30 percent, acidity of 0.31 to 0.60 percent and can last up to seven to nine days.
The Chengalikodan banana variety, has gathered enough notoriety not only because of its unique taste, appearance and quality but also because of its strong Onam connections. During Onam, it is offered as ‘Kazhchakula’ to the deity in temples all around the state, including the famous Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple. Due to these holy ties the demand for this variety soars during the festival season. The demand is so high, that farmers sell a bunch for Rs.1,500 to 3,000. The prices vary according to the overall appearance and beauty of a bunch and at times go up to 5000 rupees.
Getting GI protection for this banana variety will definitely help the producers expand the market for this variety, besides giving it much required legal protection.
Well, we don’t really need a magical mirror to tell us which banana variety is the fairest of them all. Do we?