Govt to sign MoU with AAU for GI registration of indigenous rice, maize and ginger

ITANAGAR, May 27: The Arunachal Pradesh government and Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for GI registration of the Khamti Lahi rice, Tawang maize and Adi ginger (Kekir) and for other agro-technology practices, processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural produces.
Both the parties agreed for the memorandum during a video conference held between Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and AAU Vice-Chancellor Prof Ashok Bhattacharya on Wednesday.
Mein said the Khamti Lahi rice is known for its uniqueness in terms of taste, aroma, size, shape, colour and cooking method, and sought the technical support and cooperation from the university for its cultivation, processing, packaging and marketing and also for its intellectual proprietary right protection like – GI registration, in a proper scientific way.
He also sought the help of the AAU for GI registration of Tawang maize and local Adi ginger (Kekir) along with Khamti Lahi rice, which are pending for last many years.
Stating the crux of the problem faced by the farmers of the state in processing, packaging and marketing of their local produces, Mein sought the help of the AAU, a premier institute for agriculture in the North East region, for coming up with ideas and suggestions for market opportunity and accessibility.
“North East Region has vast fertile agro-climatic zones ranging from sub-tropical, temperate and alpine zones
which are suitable for cultivation of varieties of agricultural and horticultural crops,” Mein said.
He opined that with so much potential of the region, it can be transformed into a food bowl of the country with proper inputs of good quality seeds, planting materials, scientific methods of cultivation, suitable agro-technology practices and post-harvest technology, which an institute like the AAU can formulate and initiate.
Meanwhile, AAU VC Prof Bhattacharya has agreed in-principle to extend all source of cooperation and help to the Arunachal Pradesh government in getting GI registration of Khamti Lahi Rice, Tawang maize and Adi ginger (Kekir) and other technical support.
Both the state government and the AAU have agreed to sign the formal MoU at a suitable time soon.
Among others, PS Lokhande, Commissioner Planning & Investment cum Agriculture Production Commissioner, Bidol Tayeng, Secretary Agriculture, Himanshu Gupta, Secretary Planning & Investment, RK Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Namsai, Dr Pinaki Sengupta, retired chief scientist and former Head CSIR-NEIST, Jorhat, Anong Lego, Director of Agriculture and Tadu Game, Director of Agriculture Marketing attended the conference. (DCM’s Media Cell)