First ever yak milk product, Arunachal Pradesh Yak Churpi, gets GI tag
First ever yak milk product, Arunachal Pradesh Yak Churpi, gets GI tag

Churpi is prepared from the milk of Arunachali yak, which is a unique yak breed found in West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Yak Churpi, a naturally fermented milk product made from yak milk, has been given recognition as a Geographical Indication (GI) of Arunachal Pradesh.

First ever yak milk product, Arunachal Pradesh Yak Churpi, gets GI tag

Dr Mihir Sarkar, Director, ICAR- National Research Centre on Yak said it is a major boost to the pastoral production systems and yak rearing in the country.

Churpi is an excellent source of proteins and is frequently used as a substitute for vegetables by tribal yak herders in the vegetation-starved cold and hilly mountainous regions of the state. It is also mixed in vegetable or meat curry and is eaten with rice as a staple food in tribal households. It is considered an integral part of the tangible cultural and tribal heritage of Arunachal Pradesh- says Sarkar.  

Arunachali yak breed is reared by tribal yak pastoralists known as Brokpas who migrate along with their yaks to higher reaches (at an altitude of 10,000 ft and higher) during summers and descent to mid-altitude mountainous regions during winters. Since the product is prepared at such a high altitude, it is also expected to provide benefits to the tribal herders against cold and hypoxia besides providing enriched nutrition, Dr Vijay Paul, Principal Scientist of NRC-Yak who was associated with the GI application process informed.

ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang applied for registration of this unique yak product.  The institute is closely working with the Brokpas rearing Arunachali yaks and is helping them through research and extension support. The services rendered by the institute assume greater significance in the light of the fact that yak population throughout the country has been declining at a fast pace due to enormous hardships and dwindling gains associated with pastoral yak rearing. The registration of yak Churpi of Arunachal Pradesh as a GI is going to serve the cause of yak conservation and yak pastoralists’ socio-economic upliftment.

(Source: ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang)