JORHAT, 7 Jan: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Thursday visited the Assam Agriculture University (AAU) here in Assam.
During discussions with AAU vice chancellor Dr Bidyut C Deka, scientists and faculty members, Mein, who was accompanied by a team of the agriculture department, headed by Agriculture Director Anong Lego, sought scientific intervention and guidance from the AAU in research and development and GI registration of indigenous crops of the state like the Khamti lahi, the Monpa maize, the Adi kekir, etc.
“Many indigenous crop species of high demand, especially in the overseas market, need to have geographical indicators (GI) for patenting, so as to ensure intellectual property rights protection to fetch premium price in the international markets,” Mein said, and added that GI registration would not only be limited to Khamti lahi rice, the Monpa maize and the Adi kekir but will be extended to other indigenous crops of the state.
The DCM said that the agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in the economy of Arunachal “as this sector contributes more than 32 percent to the state’s GDP.”
He informed that the Arunachal government has accorded top priority to climate resilient agriculture and allied sector activities, “not only to achieve food and nutritional security but also to sustain livelihood and ensure remunerative return of the toil of farmers, and also to create employment opportunities in rural areas to decelerate urban migration of young workforce.”
AAU VC Dr Bidyut C Deka assured all possible support and assistance from the university, and said the university would work in collaboration with the Arunachal government.
Dr Deka informed that, apart from GI registration, the university has created crop varieties and developed an organic package for crops.
Among others, Agriculture Director Anong Lego and the AAU’s research director (agriculture) Dr Ashok Bhattacharya also spoke.
In the meeting, Arunachal’s agriculture department and the AAU agreed to sign an MoU for promotion of agricultural activities in Arunachal.
It is worth mentioning that the AAU and the Namsai KVK had cultivated 10 varieties of Khamti lahi as observation trials for development and purification of seeds during 2020. Experiment and cultivation of the Monpa maize and the Adi kekir will be done from this year onwards on an experimental basis.
The DCM visited the AAU’s tea garden, bio-fertilizer unit, animal husbandry and dairy department, etc, on the campus and interacted with the faculty members and students. (DCM’s PR Cell)