Madhya Pradesh v/s Chhattisgarh: Whose chicken is it, anyway?
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are both embroiled in a war over owning an Indian breed of all-black chicken called Kadaknath, seeking the GI (Geographical Indication) tag for the bird known for its taste and health benefits.
Madhya Pradesh applied for the GI tag in 2012. But Chhattisgarh isn't in a mood to give up as it recently filed an application, too.
What exactly is the Kadaknath chicken breed?
Kadaknath is an Indian chicken breed, which is believed to have originated in Madhya Pradesh. It is in high-demand not only because of its taste but also the low-cholesterol and high-protein content.
Its price -around Rs. 500/kg- is five times more than that of normal broiler chicken.
The "unique" birds are completely black; their wings, legs, beak, bones, meat and everything are black.
MP fears it might lose the GI tag race
In 2012, MP filed an application with the GI registry office in Chennai, claiming that Kadaknath originated in its Jhabua district.
However, the Chhattisgarh government also applied for the GI tag recently after the success of its Kadaknath breeding project in Dantewada.
This has left the Jhabua administration worried that it might lose the race for winning the Kadaknath GI tag for MP.
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Filed application for GI tag in 2017: Dantewada collector
On 2 February, Jhabua collector Ashish Saxena informed Madhya Pradesh Animal Husbandry Department's Principal Secretary Ajit Kesari that Chhattisgarh applied for the Kadaknath GI tag.
Following this, the Madhya Pradesh government has doubled its efforts to win the "prized" GI tag soon.
Meanwhile, Dantewada collector Saurabh Kumar stated they applied for the GI tag in 2017 under "the breed preservation and conservation section".
Chhattisgarh produces more Kadaknath birds than Madhya Pradesh
Dantewada collector Saurabh Kumar stated Chhattisgarh isn't "disputing" that Kadaknath originated from MP's Jhabua.
He said they annually produce around 2.5L Kadaknath birds, which is more than MP's production rate.
Kumar added, "If Madhya Pradesh gets the GI tag then we won't be able to call our bird Kadaknath...the women in our self-help groups will lose a lot commercially. So we too have applied."
Getting GI tag is a complicated process: An official
"Before getting the GI tag, we have to answer a lot of queries. One particular problematic query was to get the chicken's blood tested. Such testing cannot be done in India...we had to send blood samples abroad," said a Jhabua animal husbandry department official.
Madhya Pradesh, "very serious" about winning GI battle
Principal Secretary Ajit Kesari said the Madhya Pradesh government is "very serious" about winning the GI battle over the Kadaknath chicken breed.
He said they haven't received any information from the Chennai GI registry office about Chhattisgarh making any claim.
Kesari added, "Even if Chhattisgarh makes the claim it will have to prove that Kadaknath is from that region which won't be easy."
Uniqueness of Kadaknath might get diminished
According to experts in the field, if both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are given the GI tag for Kadaknath chicken breed, then the "uniqueness" of the all-black bird will get diminished. They said its price might also decrease in the long run.