Udupi, Nov 21, 2017: To identify and differentiate Mattu Gullas or Mattu Brinjals/egg plants, from other varieties in the market, Grade-1 Mattu Gullas will be reach the market with distinct stickers.
The Mattu Gulla, which has geographical indication (GI)tag,is a special variety of brinjal grown by a handful of farmers in about 67 hectares at Mattu and Kaipunjal villages in Udupi district.
The initiative is aimed at helping farmers growing the crop to get a fair price for their produce, by restricting the different varieties of brinjal entering the market in the name of MattuGulla.
The School of Management, Manipal University, through the NABARD project,in association with Mattu Gulla Belegarara Sangha Mattu,has executed the plan. Dayananda Bangera, president of the Mattu Gulla Belegarara Sangha, Mattu Katpady, said the sangha has been promoting Mattu for the purpose of uniting farmers and to help them gain bargaining power.
Last year, the School of Management, Manipal University,identified Mattu Gulla Belegarara Sangha as a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) under the project proposed to NABARD. After this, the marketing for the crop received a positive boost. In the financial year 2016-17, farmers, with the assistance of the School of Management and their sangha, have been successful in restricting entry of middlemen from outside for selling the crop. Dayananda said the process of grading, collection and demand creation was done scientifically, and hence it was possible to derive a reasonably fair price for their produce. Approximately 30 to 40 per cent of additional revenue was derived in the year 2016-17, due to their systematic efforts in selling the produce, he said.
Now, with the sale of Mattu Gulla with its symbol,it aims to restrict the entry and avoid other breeds of brinjal from selling in the name of Mattu Brinjal in the market. "Most varieties of brinjals are named Mattu Brinjal in the market, irrespective of their quality and place of origin.
It is a known fact that Mattu is not grown outside Mattu village, since it is unique to this place. The use of stickers will notonly fetch a fair price for growers, but also for customers, to relish the original taste of Mattu Brinjal.
Currently, a kilogram of A gradeMattuGulla is priced at around Rs 70. The stickers are put with the intention of differentiating the brinjal from other look-alike brinjals, said Harish Joshi, professor at the School of Management.
When asked about counterfeiting the same by others, he answered that they will also make surprise visits to shops. On Sunday,the Sode Vadiraja Mutt, Udupi Vishwavallabha Swami, blessed the crop and released the stickers. Kaup MLA and former minister Vinayakumar Sorake, released the product.