LUCKNOW: Chandauli, known as the rice bowl of the Purvanchal, is gearing up to export black rice to countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal said that the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has already started planning for the same.
Assistant General Manager of the APEDA, CB Singh, said 900 quintals (90 metric tonnes) of black paddy, which has anti-diabetic qualities, had been produced by a group of around 300 farmers in the Chandauli district. The per kilogram price of paddy is Rs 85 and after processing, it comes for Rs 160.
He said there is a plan to export this rice. In the beginning, it will be exported to Australia and New Zealand and later to other countries. Singh said the APEDA was motivating more farmers to grow black rice because of the soil of the Chandauli district was very favourable for paddy farming.
A formal meeting between the exporters and farmers was organised in the district so that the farmers sell the produce to the exporters. Anil Singh, a resident of Suriyawan Block, is the first farmer to cultivate black rice.
Singh said that he has not used any kind of chemical fertiliser in the cultivation and the farming is entirely based on an organic method. He also said that he experimented on a small portion of land. Recently, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had advised farmers of the western Uttar Pradesh to grow less sugarcane, keeping in view increasing number of sugar patients in the state.
On this advice, Anil Singh sent a suggestion to the Chief Minister to produce Manipur's black rice in the state as it will not only control the diabetes but will also help in increasing farmer's income manifold.
Black rice, known as 'chak-hao' in Manipur where it is extensively grown, is a source of iron, vitamin E and antioxidants. The outermost layer of the rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanins. It is known for curing diabetes and cancer.