A month after the Bihar government commercially launched neera — a pre-fermentation version of palm juice —to discourage consumption of toddy, a university in the dry state has started an initiative to promote the non-alcoholic drink through a short advertisement film.
The advertisement film, prepared at the media centre of Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, in Bhagalpur district, 224 km southeast of state capital, Patna, was screened at the university’s extension council meeting on Wednesday.
The BAU media centre was also preparing a print advertisement on neera, vice chancellor (VC) Ajoy Kumar Singh said.
Singh said the BAU was planning to screen the neera commercial before chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had earlier ordered for preparation of a comprehensive action plan on industries related to the pre-fermentation version of palm tree juice.
While announcing total prohibition in Bihar on April 5, 2016, Kumar had said sale of toddy—post fermentation version of palm juice — would be allowed in accordance with a 1991 guideline, but plans would also be made for commercially harnessing neera.
Singh said the film, without any comparative reference to other non-alcoholic beverages, “attempts to establish neera as a healthy drink”.
He said the advertisement film was part of the university’s plan of branding and promoting its agricultural technology and products. “The BAU media centre will soon make promotional films on agricultural technology concerning direct seeded rice and seed treatment. Among agricultural products, the university plans branding and promotion of squash made by BAU from Sabour green mango,” he added.
Ramdutt, principal investigator of BAU projects related to branding of agricultural technology and products, said the film on neera also attempts to showcase the refreshing feeling the drink exuded during summer.