Guwahati: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday asked universities in Assam to promote, brand and market the unique Joha rice of Assam.

Joha is a special class of Sali rice (Winter rice) of Assam in cultivation over centuries and characterized by aromatic endosperm. However, this class of aromatic rice differs from Basmati rice in growth habits, areas of adaptation, physicochemical properties of grains and grain shape and cooked grain elongation pattern. The aroma of Joha rice is also considered to be higher than Basmati in terms of 2-acetyl – 1- pyrroline level (a major indicator of aroma level).

Joha rice has already been registered as a GI product. The Joha rice, with a pleasant aroma and fine grain characteristics, fetches premium price over the best non-aromatic quality grained rice varieties in the domestic market.

The president was addressing students of Tezpur University at its 19th convocation on Saturday.

Referring to the unique Joha rice of Assam, which is known for its excellent taste and aroma, he said that universities of Assam can help the farmers by branding, popularising and marketing this unique variety of rice. There are many such agricultural products that can be promoted, he added.

He said the Tezpur University community should provide innovative solutions to local and national problems.

President Kovind was happy to note the innovative solutions provided by Tezpur University for making safe drinking water reach many villages in Assam. He said that the scope of the university’s engagement with villages should be further expanded. It can adopt some villages for helping in their overall development under Universities’ Social Responsibility.

Noting that the North-Eastern states give high priority to organic farming, the President said that the Tezpur University can play a major role in branding and marketing of agricultural produce of this region. He was happy to note that the university has received approval under the ‘Prime Minister-Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme’ for setting up an incubation centre to process jackfruit and ready to eat cereals-based products.

The President said that Assam has done a commendable job in conserving biodiversity. Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, as well as the Elephant Reserve, are impressive examples of conservation. He said that conservation must be the watchword for every citizen, especially the student community.

Pointing to the fact that academic activities have been affected by the Covid pandemic, the President said that the pandemic has had a serious impact on the education of the relatively vulnerable sections of our people. He said that the National Education Policy 2020 which was released during the pandemic contains a specific focus on digital education with the help of technology. He said that Tezpur University can become an active stakeholder in this initiative, especially by providing high-quality digital content in Assamese and other languages of the North-East.

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