ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Pradesh government will soon ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jorhat- based Assam Agriculture University (AAU) for geographical indication (GI) registration of Khamti Lahi rice, Tawang maize and Adi ginger (Kekir).
The decision to sign the MoU was taken during a meeting held through video conferencing on Wednesday between Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and AAU vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Ashok Bhattacharya, official sources informed here on Thursday.
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, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the Khamti Lahi rice is known for its uniqueness in terms of its taste, aroma, size, shape, colour and cooking method.
Mein 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.
The Deputy Chief Minister 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, the sources said.
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. This is something which an institute like AAU can formulate and initiate," Mein said.
Prof Bhattacharya assured to extend all support and cooperation to the Arunachal government.
The duo agreed to sign the formal MoU in a suitable time soon, the sources added.