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Rice Mela ends, over 150 varieties displayed

 Did you know that Kattuyanam is the oldest rice variety in the world? It is over 2,400 years old.

Published: 02nd November 2021 06:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd November 2021 06:56 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Did you know that Kattuyanam is the oldest rice variety in the world? It is over 2,400 years old. The red rice variety’s name is a combination of two words — Kattu or Kadu which means forest and Yanai meaning elephant. The plant can grow up to seven feet tall, and even an elephant can hide in the crops. 

It is rich in antioxidants, controls blood sugar, is good for skin and normalises bowel movement. Around 150 such indigenous rice varieties were on display at the Rice Mela organised by Thanal Trust, an environment NGO and Organic Bazar at Jawahar Nagar.  

The varieties of rice displayed at the mela
organised by Thanal Trust at Jawahar
Nagar | BP Deepu

The exhibition aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle and create awareness regarding the benefits of rice consumption to the present generation. For those who are fed up with processed white and brown rice available at provisional stores, the expo was a way to identify healthier options, said coordinator of the fest Manju M Nair.

Thanal’s Save our Rice Campaign promotes the use of indigenous varieties of rice for consumption and farming instead of hybrids or high-yielding varieties. “We used to hold it annually pre-Covid. We have introduced rare and natural varieties of rice from Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand and other parts of the country,” said Manju.

The rice varieties like Rakthashali, Mappilai Samba and Navara rice are acknowledged for their therapeutic values adds Prathibha, stall volunteer. Rare aromatic varieties like Mullankayama, Ghandhasala, Jeerkasala, Govindbhog, Basmathi Brown and Basmathi white were on display. The exhibition which began on Friday concluded on Monday and got a good response from the public.

Maneesh Vijaykumar, a techie who dropped in to check the exhibits said: “I work nearby and dropped in out of curiosity. I came to know that there are deepwater rice varieties like Vietnam rice. They survive in flood plains so I think it will be a good option to cultivate it in paddy fields in our state which is seeing flood every year,” said Maneesh. 


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