Wednesday, August 20, 2008
king chilli - what lies ahead?
summer 2008, hyderabad
che's rendition of the king chilli. the Guinness Book of World Records 2007 edition states that this chilli which is commonly called as Naga Mircha or Umrok or Bhoot Jalokhia as the hottest chilli in the world.
i've been consuming it since 2000 and i agree with Guinness Book. this chilli has been traditionally cultivated in parts of manipur, nagaland and assam. some say it also grows in some parts of burma and bangladesh.
indigenous peoples who have traditionally been farming, innovating and preserving this legendary chilli are excited about the recognition and trade possibilities. some are also clearly worried about this unique chilli's fate once it begins to be experimented upon, modified genetically to have more shelf life, "improved" otherwise, patented, farmed in other geographic locations that is very different in soil and climate conditions.
freedom from bio-piracy, bio-diversity protection and respect of indigenous peoples knowledge and practices in farming and innovation and not patenting biological life-forms are the key issues facing the people who have been traditionally associated with this chilli.