In a major milestone for the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the unique and culturally important yak milk product, ‘Yak Chorpi,’ has been given the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag. This recognition is a historic moment for Arunachal Pradesh and its tribal communities, who have nurtured the tradition of making charpi for generations.
Yak Churpi is a dairy product made from the milk of the local Arunachal Pradesh yak breed, known as Brokpas. These remarkable yaks are mainly found in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of the state. The announcement was made by Dr Meher Sarkar, Director, ICAR-National Research Center on Yak, who highlighted the importance of the product in strengthening the livestock production system and supporting the livelihood of yak herders.
Charpi, a naturally fermented dairy product, is celebrated for its rich protein content, making it an essential dietary staple for tribal communities living in the cold and mountainous regions of Arunachal Pradesh. Often used as a vegetable substitute, charpi is also added to vegetable and meat curries and is usually served with rice.
Dr. Sarkar emphasized that Chorpi is deeply connected to the cultural and tribal heritage of Arunachal Pradesh, serving as a symbol of the state’s diverse and vibrant traditions. The Brokpa, the tribal yak herders who herd the Arunachali yaks, make a high-altitude seasonal migration during the summer months, reaching altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. During harsh winters, they descend to mid-altitude areas. Since charpi is traditionally produced at these altitudes, it is believed to provide many benefits to herders, including protection from cold weather and hypoxia, in addition to its nutritional value.
Dr. Vijay Pal, Principal Scientist, NRC-Yak, who played a key role in the GI application process, highlighted the importance of yak recognition in conserving yak populations and improving the socio-economic conditions of pastoralists. put He also emphasized that the population of yaks is decreasing across the country due to various challenges associated with yak rearing.
The application for GI tag for Arunachal Pradesh Yak Chorpi was submitted by ICAR-National Research Center on Yak, located in Derang, West Kameng District. The institute is actively collaborating with Brokpas to support them through research and extension programmes.
The successful registration of Yak Charpi as a GI product was facilitated by the expertise of Padma Shri Dr. Rajinikanth, National GI Technical Facilitator, Mr. Parthu Saha, Former Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). went Arunachal Pradesh, and Department of Animal Husbandry, Veterinary, and Dairy Development, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
This recognition is a testament to the importance of preserving local traditions and products that are deeply rooted in the state’s history and heritage.
First Published: 04 Oct 2023, 21:11 IST