What is Sea buckthorn?

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What is Sea buckthorn? Blog Image


Sea buckthorn fruit from Ladakh has been recently awarded a GI tag.

About Sea buckthorn

  • Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a plant found throughout Europe and Asia. 
  • In India, it is found above the tree line in the Himalayan region, generally in dry areas such as the cold deserts of Ladakh and Spiti.
  • It is naturally distributed over 11,500 hectares in the Ladakh region.
  • It produces small orange or yellow-coloured berries that are sour in taste but rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C.
  • The shrub can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from minus 43 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius and is considered drought-resistant. These two characteristics make the shrub an ideal plant species to establish in cold deserts.
  • Sea Buckthorn berries have a unique characteristic of remaining intact on the shrub throughout the winter months despite the subzero temperature.
  • Uses:
    • It has been used traditionally for a variety of purposes.
      Every part of the plant–fruit, leaf, twig, root, and thorns has been traditionally used as medicine, nutritional supplement, fuel, and fence.
    • Many bird species feed on the berries when other sources of food are limited in the region.
    • The leaves serve as protein-rich fodder for cold desert animals like sheep, goats, donkeys, cattle, and double-humped camels.
    • Therefore, it is popularly known as the ‘Wonder Plant’, ‘Ladakh Gold’, ‘Golden Bush’, or ‘Gold Mine’ of cold deserts.

What is a Geographical Indication Tag?

  • It is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • This is typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. 
  • Geographical indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • At the international level, GI is governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • This GI tag is valid for 10 years, following which it can be renewed.
  • The first product in India to be accorded the GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

Q1) What is Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement?

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).The TRIPS Agreement requires Member countries to make patents available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology without discrimination, subject to the normal tests of novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.

Source: Ladakh's sea buckthorn gets GI tag