Si Sa Ket shallots, garlic join GI registration list
The government has added shallots and garlic from Si Sa Ket province to the country's geographical indication list, raising the number of Thai indigenous products with GI registration to 126 products in 76 provinces.
Deputy Commerce Minister Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol said farmers in Si Sa Ket have been famed for growing shallots and garlic for a long time, thanks to suitable geographic and climatic conditions in the province and cultivation techniques passed down from generation to generation.
Si Sa Ket shallots and garlic have a distinctive and unique smell with a taste different from produce grown in other locations.
GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular country, region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics.
The certification of unique characteristics and quality typically increases the market value in developed countries.
GI registration will help protect the branding of these communities' indigenous products and build consumer confidence in their quality, as well as local wisdom.
The government is committed to developing and promoting GI products in every province this year to generate income for communities.
Only Ang Thong has yet to have a GI product registered. The province has proposed its indigenous Ekkarat drum for certification.
The government aims to raise sales from GI products to more than 30 billion baht by 2024 while linking GI to tourism.
GI product sales topped 5.2 billion baht last year, up from 4 billion baht in 2018 and 3.7 billion baht in 2017.
Mr Weerasak said the Intellectual Property Department will speed up promoting and adding value to GI products after farmers and producers overall have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
The department aims to promote online sales for GI products and is scheduled to organise five GI trade fairs in big cities in every region of Thailand, including in Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen, in December.
The Intellectual Property Department recently selected 45 GI products from 104 operators in 35 provinces to introduce and sell them through GI Thailand's Facebook page.
According to Mr Weerasak, the department is also eyeing registration of Pak Chong Khao Yai's sugar apple and Nakhon Ratchasima's Pet Non Thai Manila tamarind as future GI products.
Thospone Dansuputra, director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, said the department plans to promote GI registration to cover all of the country's 77 provinces by this September, as directed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.