Farmer weaves saree from rice straw

Updated - April 13, 2015 05:45 am IST

Published - April 13, 2015 12:00 am IST - HYDERABAD:

Muvva Krishnamurthy (extreme right) displaying the six-yard wonder he made using rice straw at ICAR in Hyderabad.Photo: SURESH KRISHNAMOORTHY

Muvva Krishnamurthy (extreme right) displaying the six-yard wonder he made using rice straw at ICAR in Hyderabad.Photo: SURESH KRISHNAMOORTHY

A 70-year-old farmer has garnered the attention of agricultural scientists at the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) by turning useless rice straw into sarees and other decorative artefacts, including models of an agricultural plough.

Hailing from Venkannapalem of Parchur mandal in Prakasam district, Muvva Chinna Krishnamurthy’s innovation got him an award from the ICAR here on Sunday.

At the Indian Institute of Rice Research here, he unveiled his latest – a saree made entirely of rice straw and weed. Among those who helped hold up the six-yard wonder for the audience to see and appreciate, were internationally-acclaimed scientists Robert S. Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines and S. Ayyappan of ICAR.

When asked, he said that during harvest time on his 12-acre stretch of land, it was always a problem finding labour to bunch the paddy stalks and beat the grain. Then it would be bunched into a haystack for disposal.

“In my childhood, I was told how the stalk could be dipped in water and after cutting it into thin strings, they could be rolled together to be used as rope. I added waste weed in my land to this and made strong thread,” he explained.

It was then a matter of weaving it into fabric - in this case, a saree. It took him slightly over 30 months to end up with a saree that would make people look up and say ‘wow’! And when he spread the six-yard wonder for the audience, jaws did drop.

His friend Bandaru Srinivas Rao, who is an ICAR awardee from Guntur, took the microphone and announced that he was offered Rs. 2 lakh for the sareebut did not part with it. Mr. Chinna Krishnamurthy has plans to weave other accessories including a blouse, handbag, shawl and even a whip.

The 70-year-old farmer received an award from the ICAR for his innovation

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