Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein on Thursday sought assistance from Assam Agricultural University with regard to getting GI registration of the state’s indigenous crops.

In a bid to promote exports, Mein who visited Assam Agricultural University at Jorhat along with a team of officers from the agriculture department held discussions with the vice-chancellor, scientists and faculty members of the University.

He said that GI tag and networking for quality assurance, packaging, branding need to be promoted for exportable commodities to meet the International standards and protocol.

“Many indigenous crop species of high demand especially in the overseas market need to be GI registered for patenting so as to ensure Intellectual Property Rights protection to fetch a premium price in the international markets,” he said.

Mein said that the GI Registration will not only be limited to Khamti Lahi Rice, Monpa Maize and Adi Kekir but will also be extended to other indigenous crops of the State.

The Arunachal Pradesh agriculture department and Assam Agricultural University, agreed to go ahead with the proposal with the signing of an MoU.

Mein sought scientific intervention, support, help and guidance from the Institute in developing a package of practices for various indigenous crops cultivated in Arunachal Pradesh.

He informed that the State has about 25 lakh hectare of cultivable land out of which 7 lakh hectare is fit for food and commercial crops through conventional irrigation and 18 lakh hectares area suitable for horticultural crops.

“Arunachal Pradesh has a unique biodiversity with about 80 per cent of the traditional agricultural practices producing organic products,” Mein said.

AAU vice-chancellor Bidyut Chandan Deka said that apart from GI registrations, the University had created crop varieties and developed organic package of practices for crops in Assam.

He assured all possible support and assistance from the University and to work in collaboration with the government of Arunachal Pradesh.

AAU and KVK Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh had cultivated 10 varieties of Khamti Lahi as observation trials for the development and purification of seeds during 2020.

Observation and cultivation for Monpa Maize and Adi Kekir will be done from this year onward.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com