Cooperative company in Karkala promotes local brand of rice

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BC Patil’s Agriculture Minister to bring it to market tomorrow

A cooperative society in Karkala, Udupi district, took the initiative to conserve a local variety of rice by promoting its paddy crop to local farmers and launching its marketing from Monday.

The Parampara Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. will market the boiled rice under its own brand “Kaarla Kaje”.

The president of the cooperative society Naveenchandra Jain said The Hindu that rice is being promoted under the ‘vocal4local’ initiative. He said that the particular variety of “kaje” rice was once cultivated in Karkala and its surroundings on a large scale. As its cultivation dwindled, the cooperative society, which is full of farmers, thought about preserving it from the fading of the fields. As some farmers who had his seeds cultivated his paddy on a small scale, the cooperative society gave its seeds to around 100 farmers to promote its cultivation.

“As the first crop initiated by the cooperative society, between 250 and 300 farmers cultivated it on about 200 hectares (900 acres) last year. We obtained about 3000 quintals of rice out of about 5000 quintals of cultivated paddy. The same rice is now ready to be sold, ”he said, adding that preparations have been made to cultivate his second crop which is expected to be harvested in late February or March.

Mr. Jain said ‘Kaarla Kaje’ will be sold in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in 5, 10 and 25 kg bags.

The president, who grows it himself on around 35 to 40 acres, said the particular variety yielded 15 quintals of paddy per acre of land. Its rice can be stored for up to three to five months. He said that if the paddy after drying is stored for up to three months and then processed into rice, it tastes better.

As the company now only had 3,000 quintals of rice, it cannot be marketed outside the twin districts, which consumed boiled rice, even as demand increased, Mr Jain, who is also the vice president of the Udupi District Krishika Samaja and declared Udupi District President Bharatiya Kisan Sangha.

Rice will be promoted as the brand of Karkala. Agriculture Minister BC Patil will market the rice at Kukkanduru Gram Panchayat in Karkala on January 18, he said.

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