Dharashiv's Kunthalgiri Khoya Receives Prestigious GI Tag

Kunthalgiri Khoya, a beautiful place located in the picturesque Dharashiv district of Maharashtra, has recently been granted the esteemed Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Central Government. This recognition is a significant milestone for the dairy industry in the area. The project started back in 1972, serving as an additional source of income for farmers who wanted to supplement their earnings from agriculture. 

The production of khawa (Khoya) and khawa peda (sweet) started with a small group of farmers in the Kunthalgiri area. Over time, it has grown into a successful business that is now recognised nationwide. Located at Kunthalgiri phata on the Solapur Dhule highway, this humble attempt has turned into a shining example of success in the area. 

Due to the limited availability of water and the challenging landscape, numerous farmers in the area made a shift towards dairy farming. They decided to concentrate on producing and selling traditional dairy products like khawa and khawa peda. Kunthalgiri khawa has gained a lot of attention due to its excellent nutritional value and high quality. As a result, the central government has awarded it the prestigious GI rating. In recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in people getting involved in this business in the Kunthalgiri region. This is mainly due to the favourable conditions that make khawa production easier and more successful. As a result, the delightful Kunthalgiri khawa is now being exported to various pilgrimage destinations throughout the country. 

With 300 bhattis (furnaces) specifically for khawa production and an extra 200 bhattis for pedha, an incredible twenty-five thousand farmers are engaged in the milk business in this region. The local industry has been experiencing significant growth and sustainability, as seen by the remarkable 30 tones of khawa produced everyday as a result of the collaborative effort. 

Kunthalgiri's khawa and pedha production have a significant impact that goes beyond just economic benefits. The distribution of pedha to pilgrimage sites within and outside Maharashtra has created long-term job opportunities for 5,000 young individuals from the Kunthalgiri region. The fact that Kunthalgiri's dairy industry brings both economic growth and employment opportunities for young people highlights its importance in society. 

With the GI designation, Kunthalgiri confirms its position as a national hub for Khoya and Pedha, which it justifiably earned. Kunthalgiri Khoya's remarkable journey from humble beginnings to thriving local custom is an inspiring example to the power of community-driven transformation and preservation of cultural traditions in the food industry.