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Black rice cultivation begins in Cachar

Our Special Correspondent
Silchar, April 6: The advancement of science and technology has brought about significant changes in agriculture and the products from cropland. It is not only contributing towards increase in per hectare yield from land but also towards finding out newer varieties of products from agricultural land. The ever rising human population around the world has created an imbalance between demand and supply of consumer goods. Rice which is an important and essential food item for human being has no doubt shown increase in its production. Apart from that, new variety of rice with nutritious contents is also making its presence felt in the market.
 Soi block in Cachar has been known for a sort of green revolution. It has achieved the distinction of being the first in Barak Valley to go for the production of black rice, better identified as super food. With the active support and cooperation of agriculture department, Firdous Ahmed Lipu of South Saidpur smart village in Soi has achieved such success in producing black rice, totaling around 3 quintals. Senior agriculture development officer Ranjit Sarkar is quite hopeful of its marketing and proper dividend for the agriculturists.
Quite relevant to say, such black rice is being produced in Goalpara. But, it is for the first time that such super food is being cultivated in Barak Valley. Ranjit Sarkar said it is at his initiative that he took up the cultivation of black rice in 2015 on experimental basis. He admitted there is lot of variation in the climatic condition of Barak and Brahmaputra Valley. Sharing some of the important distinctiveness of this rice, Sarkar pointed out the period of cultivation and production takes around 130 days. It is a rice of high quality, containing high fibre, amino acid and antioxidant, besides being scented and quite relishing.
 The cultivation of this rice has been taken up under systematic rice intensification system, pointed out district agriculture officer Z H Choudhury. Black rice has found wide acceptance in Chi and Australia where its cultivation is being encouraged by the state machinery for its being highly helpful in keeping human body fit and agile and also immune to diseases. In Guwahati, the price of black rice is Rs.200 per kg. After the successful efforts by Firdous Ahmed, farmers have shown interest in taking up its cultivation. Response has come from Kachudaram and Sobarighat of Soi revenue circle.
 Remarkably, Firdous Ahmed started cultivation on half bigha cropland which has now been extended to 2 bighas. The nutritious value, as summed up by Ranjit Sarkar, is that it purifies blood vessels and is also deterrent to heart diseases. It also helps in keeping control of cholesterol in blood, protection of eye and skin as well as to help the body in resisting the possibility of cancer and boosting up physical and mental abilities. Interestingly, the President of India, Ramth Kovind, during his visit to Barak Valley on the occasion of mami Barak festival made query about the production of black rice which was then just taken up for cultivation. Ranjit Sarkar sharing this information with The Sentinel regretted he could not present the President the sample of black rice as it was yet to be produced in this part of the country.

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Ankur Kalita