The Arunachal Pradesh government and Assam Agriculture University (AAU), Jorhat have agreed to sign an MoU for geographical indication (GI) registration of Khamti Lahi Rice, Tawang Maize and Adi Ginger (Kekir) and their processing and marketing thereof.

The decision to sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was taken during a meeting held through video conferencing on Thursday between deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and AAU vice-chancellor Prof Ashok Bhattacharya.

Besides GI registration of the three products, the MoU, once signed, would also focus on strengthening other agro-technology practices such as processing, packaging, and marketing of agricultural produces in the state.

During the meeting, Mein said the Khamti Lahi Rice is known for its uniqueness in terms of its taste, aroma, size, shape, colour and cooking method.

He sought the technical support and cooperation from the AAU for its cultivation, processing, packaging, and marketing and for its Intellectual Proprietary Right protection to help the state generate employment and increasing the income source of its farmers.

Mein also sought the help of AAU for GI Registration of Tawang Maize and local Adi Ginger (Kekir) which, he said, has been pending for many years.

Further stating the major problem faced by the farmers of the state is to do with processing, packaging, and marketing of their local produces, the deputy chief minister urged the AAU to help Arunachal with their ideas and suggestions for the same.

“The North East region including Arunachal Pradesh has the potential to become the food bowl of the country for which we require proper input of quality seeds/planting materials, promote scientific methods of cultivation and adopt suitable agro-technology practices,” said Mein.

“This is something which an institute like AAU can formulate and initiate,” he added.

Prof Bhattacharya, on his part, assured to extend all support and cooperation to the Arunachal government.

The duo agreed to sign the formal MoU in a suitable time soon.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com