Rice brand boosts farm sector

The government’s decision to launch an exclusive brand of organic rice, Aranmula Rice, produced in Aranmula Puncha, has given an impetus to the agriculture activity in the region, which is being assiduously revived.

J. Sajeev, the Special Officer of its Mission Green Aranmula programme, said Oil Palm India Limited (OPIL) would procure the paddy harvested at the Puncha at ₹22.50 a kg. The OPIL will also market the rice at the rate of ₹80 (for rice with bran) and ₹40 (without bran).

Mr. Sajeev told The Hindu that the department could launch cultivation in 101.02 hectares in Aranmula Puncha to produce rice valued at ₹1.18 crore this year. Efforts were on to cultivate 342 acres more in the coming months. The OPIL had already procured 46 tonnes of paddy from 10.5 acres where harvesting has been completed.

Aranmula is harvesting the fruits of a mass movement to protect its paddy fields. The villagers organised themselves under the aegis of the apolitical Aranmula Action Council when the once paddy-rich Puncha faced conversion threat from the land lobby four years ago for an international airport project. B. Sugathakumari, poet, steered the popular stir to protect the paddy lands, wetlands and natural streams in Aranmula.

The change of guard in the State too helped the cause. Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar pledged to revive paddy cultivation and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan formally launched farming on October 29, 2016.

Mr. Sajeev said Mr. Sunil Kumar would launch the sale of Aranmula Rice at at Aranmula in the first week of April. The paddy procurement price of ₹10.38 lakh would be distributed among farmers on the occasion.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 10:04:13 pm |