Woman farmer from Odisha's Jagatsinghpur secures rights over fragrant paddy variety 

The variety can be grown in both kharif and rabi seasons, claims the progressive farmer who has been focusing on introducing new fragrant paddy varieties in Jagatsinghpur.

Published: 15th May 2022 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2022 04:08 PM   |  A+A-

Odia woman farmer Kadambini Behera

Odia woman farmer Kadambini Behera (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Two decades back, Jagatsinghpur's Kadambini Behera entered paddy fields for the first time out of curiosity. Today, though, she is the only woman farmer in the district to have a high-yielding fragrant rice variety registered in her name.

The Plant Varieties Registry at New Delhi has registered 'Lall Basna Dhan' variety of rice in the name of Behera, a resident of Redhua village under Raghunathpur block.

The variety can be grown in both kharif and rabi seasons, claims the progressive farmer who has been focusing on introducing new fragrant paddy varieties in Jagatsinghpur.

Gardening, she said, was a hobby that she nurtured since her childhood days. She got married immediately after completing her Bachelor's degree in 1997 but did not give up her hobby. Raghunathpur being a rice growing area, her focus shifted to fragrant rice varieties.

With an interest to grow such varieties, she joined Gorekhnath Krushak Mahasangha, a leading farmers' organisation in Redhua, in 2002. Members of this farmers' organisation have been producing high quality paddy seeds and Behera has been an active member.  

During her association with Gorekhnath Krushak Mahasangha, she came in touch with scientists of National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) and learnt the nuances of rice breeding and seed production.

Under their guidance, she has been cultivating two types of scented rice - Ketakijuha and Kudrat-3 - in her land since the last 15 years. Ketakijuha is a variety certified by NRRI and Kudrat-3 is an indigenous variety. 

"Since people here are traditional paddy growers, I thought of experimenting with the scented varieties of rice and joined the Mahasangha," said Behera who is currently also associated with the Redhua Gram Panchayat Level Federation of Odisha Livelihoods Mission as its secretary.

In 2017, she identified a new rice panicle in her agricultural farm which was a result of her crossing Kudrat-3 with Ketakijuha. She named it 'Lall Basna Dhan' and sent the sample to the Plant Varieties Registry for registration.

In March this year, the rice variety was registered in her name. With the registration, she holds the exclusive right to grow, sell and export the rice variety.

Behera said, "Lall Basna Dhan’ is not only drought resistant and waterlogging tolerant but is also high-yielding.  The grains are medium in length and the fruit duration of the plant is 125 to 130 days. It is a desi variety of rice, good in taste and fragrant. It is suitable for making rice pithas, kheer and mudhi."

Behera wants to help women SHGs in the area to grow new paddy varieties and her two sons - Koustuv and Kalyan - are helping her in the mission. Both her sons are pursuing MSc and BSc degrees in agriculture from OUAT.


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