IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th August, 2023 Environment

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  • Matti banana variety, native to Kanniyakumari district, was recently granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.


Matti Banana

  • Matti banana, a unique variety of banana indigenous to the Kanniyakumari district in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is also known as ‘Baby Banana’ owing to its nipple-like appearance.
  • The Matti’s fingers exhibit a distinct wind-blown appearance.
  • Flourishes mainly in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks.
  • This banana has a sweet fragrance and honey-like taste.
  • If its root and yields in other areas, the fruit will be without the sweet fragrance and honey-like taste unique to the Matti bananas grown in Kanniyakumari.
  • In the local culture, the Matti banana holds significant value, particularly in the context of marriages.
  • Traditional marriages in the region feel incomplete without incorporating this banana variety.
  • It finds its place in the grand feast, often mixed with payasam, a sweet dish, adding to the festivities and cultural rituals.
  • There are six known types of the Matti banana and they are indigenous to Kanniyakumari, where it thrives in the unique climate and soil.
  •  Nal Matti boasts a yellowish-orange colour and fine aroma.
  • Kal Matti gets its name from the calcium oxalate crystals forming in its pulp and black dots on the skin.
  • Nei Matti exudes the aroma of ghee, and Sundari Matti, a Matti clone, with its elongated fingers, thick peel, and creamy white rind, is facing extinction.

A fusion of Matti and Red

  • Semmati (red) is a unique hybrid that results from combining the characteristics of Matti and Red banana varieties.
  • This banana has a relatively low total soluble solids content (TSSC), rendering it an ideal option for baby food due to its relatively mild flavor profile.
  • The pulp of Semmati (red) contains beneficial ascorbic acid, which contributes to the healthy growth of children.
  • The presence of ascorbic acid in the pulp adds to the nutritional value of Semmati (red), making it particularly advantageous for children's growth and development.
  • Sugar level is very low and suitable even for diabetics


  • This symbol is used on items that originate from a particular geographical region and possess characteristics or a reputation that can be attributed to that specific origin.
  • In India, the registration of Geographical Indications registration falls under the jurisdiction of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • This legislation became effective in September 2003.
  • First product in India to receive the GI (Geographical Indication) tag was Darjeeling tea during the 2004-05 period.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.


The Matti banana, native to the Kanniyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, is a distinctive and cherished variety due to its nipple-like appearance, wind-blown growth pattern, sweet fragrance, and honey-like taste.


Q. What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss it’s significance? (250 Words)