PORVORIM: The state government has obtained a Geographic Indication (GI) tag for the popular Khola chillies grown by the Canacona farmers association. The state government now plans to pursue GI tags for Goa’s coconut vinegar, local rice varieties, mancurad mango, Harmal chillies, Mandoli bananas and other local produce, said minister for science and technology Michael Lobo here on Monday. The locally-grown Khola or Canacona chillies are unique owing to their brilliant red colour and medium-pungent taste. Officials of the Goa State Council of Science and Technology and the Khola chili cultivators’ group had met with scientists of the Old Goa-based Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute (CCARI) to prepare a road map for the GI registration of the Khola Chilli, which TOI reported in September 2018. “When farmers get GI tags for their crops, they will be able to promote their produce—this is our objective. We want more youngsters in Goa to take up farming,” Lobo said. The minister rued the lack of interest among youth, in farming and agriculture. He said that getting the GI tag was a step towards making farming profitable, which in turn could help Goa decrease its dependence on other states for food.