CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Ivorian ‘Attiéké des Lagunes’, a local cassava-based product has successfully been labeled by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) under Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), Ecofin Agency reports.

The PGI registration certificates accompanied by the OAPI logo on the PGIs, were handed over, on July 26, 2023, to Souleymane Diarrassouba, the Minister in charge of Trade, Industry and the Promotion of SMEs by Director General of OAPI Denis Bohoussou during a ceremony.

The celebrated Geographical Indications system is a tool that establishes intellectual property rights for specific products, whose qualities are specifically linked to the area of production.

Attieke is a famous cassava-based semolina resembling couscous, popular in Côte d’Ivoire with demand growing regionally.

On this occasion, Souleymane welcomed the finalization of the process of labeling Attiéké, among other two products made in Côte d’Ivoire namely the ‘Pagne Baoulé’ and the ‘Coffee of the mountains of Man’

“For the first time in its history, Côte d’Ivoire is getting its products labeled by the PGI system, including our national attiéké”.

According to Souleymane, the labeling will contribute significantly to the promotion of local products on international markets.

”In a context of globalization of economies and liberalization of international trade, we must judiciously exploit all the tools at our disposal, to give these products a competitive advantage, which is essential for conquering and remaining on the international market.

Cassava is the second most consumed basic product after yam in Côte d’Ivoire with an annual output of more than 4.2 million tons annually according to FAO.

In 2017, the Ivorian government announced its plan to protect the name Attiéké which would, according to some sources, also be produced in China, notably under the same name. In addition, the Government’s national plan for agricultural development specifically identifies cassava as a priority crop for development.

Therefore, Souleymane explained that the labeling of the “Attiéké des Lagunes” is the crowning achievement of the meticulous work of the teams of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and the Promotion of SMEs with that of the Ivorian Office of Intellectual Property (OIPI).

The minister is confident that the certification will help to strengthen the reputation of the products in terms of quality and boost their commercial value on the international market.

According to the Minister, about fifteen agricultural and artisanal products are already labeled by the PGI system adding that Just a few years after their labeling, the price of some of these PGIs has increased exponentially on the international market to the delight of producers.

He also revealed that the country has granted significant financial resources for the financing of the first phase of the national project of Geographical Indications (GIs) and Collective Marks (MC). 

According to him, the move made it possible to lead eight products into the IGP and Collective Brand process among them cocoa from Soubré, coffee from the mountains of Man, rice from the mountains of Man, and the attiéké from Grand Lahou.

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