IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th September, 2023 Economy

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Picture Courtesy: The Hindu

Context: Salem sago, a starch extracted from the pith of a variety of palm trees, has been granted the Geographical indication (GI) tag by the Indian government. The GI tag will help to protect its brand identity, promote its quality standards, and expand its market reach.

Key Highlights

  • Salem Sago, locally known as Javvarisi, is a type of tapioca pearl produced in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is widely recognized as Sabudana, a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine.
  • Salem Sago is derived from the wet starch powder obtained by crushing and extracting starch from tapioca roots. Tapioca roots are known to contain approximately 30-35% starch content, making them a valuable source for sago production.
  • Salem Sago has been granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a significant recognition of its unique qualities and the special connection it has with the Salem district in Tamil Nadu.
    • Currently, over 80% of sago in India is produced in the Salem region (Tamil Nadu), with a significant portion marketed through Sagoserve.
  • Manufacturing Process: The manufacturing process involves crushing tapioca roots to obtain wet starch powder. This wet starch powder is then used to produce Salem Sago. It's worth noting that tapioca pearls, like traditional sago pearls, are also made from tapioca starch.
  • Utilization: The wet starch powder from tapioca can be used for producing Salem Sago. Additionally, the dry powder can be used as a raw material for industrial purposes, suggesting that tapioca starch might have various industrial applications beyond food production.
    • Sago finds applications in various industries, including food, paper, construction, textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, mining, and alcohol. Its diverse applications highlight its remarkable economic value and versatility.
  • Salem Sago, with its unique characteristics, may have specific regional significance and applications. It's important to note that the term "sago" is often used to refer to starch pearls made from various sources, including tapioca, sago palm, and other starch-rich plants, depending on the region and local preferences.


  • The GI tag for Salem Sago would not only provide recognition but also help protect and promote this traditional and economically significant product from the Salem region. Additionally, it could boost the livelihoods of farmers and the sago industry in the area by enhancing market visibility and demand.

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GI TAGS LIST UPDATED: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/gi-tags-list-updated


Q. Which Indian state has Salem Sago been granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag?

A) Kerala

B) Karnataka

C) Tamil Nadu

D) Andhra Pradesh

Answer: C

Explanation: Salem Sago has been granted a GI tag, recognizing its unique qualities and the special connection it has with the Salem district in Tamil Nadu.