Kokum

Kokum as Geographical Indication

  • The Kokum plant is well known as ‘Kalpavruksha’.
  • Medicinal values attributed to Kokum are numerous (Source: Spices Board of India).
  • Longstanding natural forest based production system
  • Unique product with strong geographical link and localized consumtion; involvement of indigenous technical intelligence
  • A survey conducted under United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) project in 25 states of India has identified Kokum from Western Ghats as promising indigenous product that merit protection as Geographical Indication.
  • The production in Maharashtra is around 50,000 tonnes with average productivity of 10 tonnes/ha.
  • Sufficient niche market. A mature orchard of kokum can give Rs. 1, 64, 000/ – per hectare income under rain fed conditions. Kokum thus, offers good potential for exploitation.
  • According to the survey of UNCTAD, Market demand for three fruit products including Kokum is expected to increase from 27.4 to 64 billion rupees by 2020 with 8.9 percent market growth.
  • Poised as commercial crop for the future with vast potential (Source: Spices Board of India)
  • Product acceptability by the retailers and consumers is high and hence companies are willing to invest. Hector Beverages (Paper Boat) and Mapro source Kokum specifically from Sindhudurg.
  • Registered GI can be a platform for product and market development and strengthen the organization of manufacturers Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri Mahakokum Sanstha (SRMS).

Description of  Kokum

  • Kokum, a perennial fruit, is a native of Western Ghats and is known as ‘Malabar Tamarind’, ‘Kool Kingof Indian Fruits
  • Kokum has attained tremendous commercial potential in recent times because of the finding that hydroxy citric acid (HCA) present in Garcinia can control obesity in man.
  • Kokum (Garcinia indica) is a polygamodioecious type of plant. The Kokum fruit tree is treated as a zero attention crop”, since with the wonderfully supportive combination of Indian sunshine, rain, and soil, the Kokum is naturally fed and is also disease free.
  • Fruit colors vary from bright red, dark purple, white to lemon yellow. However, red forms are commercially desirable.
  • Fruit size is generally 34 grams but fruits weighing up to 85 grams have been reported. Generally the rind is thin about 5 mm thickness where as types with thick skin having >50 mm thickness have been collected.
  • Konkan is the part of Western Ghat of Maharashtra having high terrain as well as coastal region with tropical climate highly suitable for Kokum fruit crop.

Proof of Origin (Historical Records)

  • In Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri Regions, cultivation of kokum is observed to be under natural forest habitat, till the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century.
  • Konkan region is enjoying the monopoly status with respect to Kokum fruits production. According to local sources, Ratnagiri district has kokum trees of 100 years old.

Uniqueness

  • Kokum, the Kool King of Indian fruits is well known as the Kalpavruksha because all of its parts are beneficial.
  • Kokan region enjoys monopoly status with respect to the Kokum fruit production.
  • Suitable sunshine, optimum rainfall, soil and overall climatic conditions of Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri make the Kokum fruit naturally fed and disease free.
  • The tree has become unique not only because of the presence of Hydroxy Citric Acid but also due to its remarkable therapeutic values as well as culinary and industrial uses.
  • Kokum grown in Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg district has desirable sour taste as compared to other kokum.
  • The fruit is characterized by agreeable flavor combined with sweetish acid taste and serves as garnish to impart an acid flavor to curries.
  • Farmers in the Konkan region do not apply inorganic fertilizers to kokum. Farmyard Manure (FYM) or available organic manures are used. Hence, most of the kokum plantation are organic.
  • Popular Kokum varieties in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are ‘Konkan Hatis and Konkan Amruta. These two improved kokum varieties have been released by Dr. B. S. Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli.

Benefits of Kokum

  • Kokum can be a substitute for tamarind in rasam. Excellent wine can be made from the fruit. Other food preparations include fruit powder, kokum lotion, Murraba, ketchup, jam, soft drinks, preserves, pickles, panna, carbonated drinks etc.
  • The medicinal values attributed to kokum are numerous.
  • Hydroxy Citric acid (HCA) from the rind of the fruit is a potential anti-obesity agent. It suppresses fatty acid synthesis, lipogenesis, and food intake, and thus induces weight loss.
  • The juice and rind are excellent in digestive troubles such as acidity, indigestion etc. It also very good for control of cholesterol, diabetes and obesity and is a tonic for the heart.
  • The butter is traditionally used as a remedy for cracks in foot and if ingested with milk for three days, it can cure dysentery.
  • Tender leaves if cooked in hot ash after rolling in banana leaves control dysentery when eaten.
  • Kokum also is used in spleen and respiratory diseases. It enhances hemoglobin level in blood.
  • The pulp covering the seed is good for removal of phlegm or kapha.
  • It is also used as a diuretic preventing formulation of calculi. It is also helpful in liver disorders, problems of vatha, piles, expulsion of worms etc.
  • Besides the above, kokum rind is also a rich source of natural red color to the tune of 2.5 percent, probably the richest among the plant kingdom.
  • Value added products of Kokum include – Lonawale Kokum, Kokum Seed, Kokum Butter, Dried Kokum rind-Amsol, Kokum Agal

Geographical Significance

  • Soil of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg is sandy clay loam to clay in texture with high organic content suitable for cultivation of Kokum.
  • High vegetation of in this area provides partial shade required for growth of Kokum.
  • Most favorable region for kokum cultivation is warm, moderate and humid zone.
  • Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg region has humid climate (65 to 90 % throughout the year) and receives annual rainfall in the range of 3000 to 3500 mm from south-west monsoon during the month of June to middle of October. which ranges from. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 34°C.
  • The months of November & December have bright sunshine hours are 10 to 11 hrs in a day and the temperature ranges as minimum 12 to 14°C and maximum up to 25 to 28° which induces flowering.