Field trials of Rajamudi rice to resume soon

Cultivation of Rajamudi variety of rice is currently restricted to parts of south Karnataka region.  

The second set of field trials to prove the unique characteristic features of Rajamudi, Karnataka’s premium variety of rice, will be resumed in due course as a precursor to seeking Geographical Indication (GI) status for it.

The results of the first set of trials — which was said to be encouraging — was published some time ago in the international rice journal Oryza and scientists involved in the exercise are confident of securing the coveted GI tag for Rajamudi within the next two years.

The process is lengthy and entails scientifically proving that the characteristic features of Rajamudi cannot be replicated when cultivated in other areas.

“It is in this connection that we intend to take up its cultivation in different parts of Karnataka, including Shivamogga, Davangere, Bidar etc. this year,” said M.P. Rajanna, a research scientist at VC Farm in Mandya, who is involved in the project.

Once successful, it will be the first paddy variety of Karnataka to share the honours with Gobindobhog of Bengal, Kalanamak of Uttar Pradesh, and Ajara Ghansal of Maharashtra, which have received the GI tag.

The State government is keen to secure the GI tag for Rajamudi, which was the preferred rice variety of the Wadiyars of Mysuru who chose to receive it from the farmers of the region in lieu of tax. This was due to its unique taste and the perceived higher nutritional value which was proved scientifically in recent years, said Krishnaprasad of Sahaja Samruddha, an NGO spearheading the movement to save and popularize the indigenous variety of rice in the State.

He said cultivation of Rajamudi variety of rice is currently restricted to parts of Holenarsipur, Arkalgud, Channarayapatna, Hassan, and Mysuru taluks in south Karnataka region. However, the acreage or area under cultivation is only around 25,000 acres to 30,000 acres and was on a decline raising concern that it could be on the brink of extinction as it is being supplanted by hybrid variety.

Explaining the rationale for securing the GI status, Mr. Krishnaprasad said it will not only help conserve the paddy variety but will prevent other variety of rice cultivated elsewhere in the State from being foisted on consumers as the genuine Rajamudi product.

The initiative to secure GI tag for Rajamudi was announced almost two years ago by the Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission and the Department of Agriculture. Besides Rajamudi, there are plans to seek GI status for other varieties of rice, including Gandhasale and Ratnachudi.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 12:49:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/field-trials-of-rajamudi-rice-to-resume-soon/article33158639.ece

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