Guwahati, Sept. 20: Five years after it got the geographical indications tag, muga is all set to have its own logo.
A senior official of Assam Science Technology and Environment Council, the registered proprietor of the geographical indications tag for muga, said the council had sent the logo to the geographical indications registry office in Chennai for clearance.
The ASTEC patent information centre developed the logo with legal support from the Delhi-based Corporate Law Group. Dispur, too, has cleared it.
“The geographical indications office will have a look at the logo and then ascertain if there is any opposition from anybody. It will take some time,” the official said. The logo is required under the geographical indications act.
Muga, the golden-yellow silk, is obtained from the semi-domesticated multivoltine silkworm, Antheraea assamensis, and is found in the Brahmaputra valley only. It possesses the highest tensile strength among all natural textile fibres and is comfortable to wear in both summer and winter. The golden texture and shine also increases with every wash.
The geographical indications for muga includes raw silk yarns and threads for textiles, dress materials, headgear, footwear, ties, motifs, fashion wear, quilts, furnishings and upholstery, mekhela sador and shawls. Assam got the tag in 2007.
Till date, only two persons have applied to the geographical indications office to become registered users of muga though at the time when the tag was granted, 27,878 people were involved in work relating to the golden fibre. The official said the application of one of the two had reached an advanced stage of processing.
In fact, the geographical indications act mandates that the tag would be revoked if a good number of people were not registered as users. The users also have to be registered under a legal body like an association or a self-help group. Authorised users have exclusive rights to protect the goods, monopolise markets and control prices of items.
“Once the users register, the logo will then be inscribed on all muga products made by them,” the official said.
To keep a check on the quality of products, the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology here has agreed to conduct tests at its seri-biotech laboratory.
The official said even the sericulture department was contemplating about becoming a registered muga user.
Of the total 2,019 metric tonnes of silk produced in Assam in 2011-12, 115 metric tonnes was muga.
Apart from muga, Assam orthodox tea and Nagaland’s Naga mircha have also got geographical indications tags.
Manipur, too, has applied for the tag for its handloom fabrics — shaphee lanphee, wangkhei phee and moirang pheejin.
The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (Neramac) has filed applications for Naga tree tomato, Arunachal orange, Sikkim large cardamom and Mizo chilli.