Kalanamak, a traditional variety of paddy with a black husk and a strong fragrance, which is considered a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of the Sravasti when he visited the region after enlightenment, is all set to get a new look and name.
- Grown in 11 districts of the Terai region of northeastern Uttar Pradesh and in Nepal, the traditional variety has been prone to lodging, a reason for its low yield.
- Lodging is a condition in which the top of the plant becomes heavy because of grain formation, the stem becomes weak, and the plant falls on the ground.
- Addressing the problem, the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) has successfully developed two dwarf varieties of the rice.
- They have been named Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652.
Back to Basics
- The traditional rice is protected under the Geographical Indication (GI) tag system.
- It’s recorded in the GI application that Lord Budhha gifted Kalanamak paddy to the people of Sravasti so that they remembered him by its fragrance.
- The problem with the traditional variety of Kalanamak paddy is that it’s tall and prone to lodging, which badly impacted grain filling and quality. The yield, as a result, fell drastically, and the market for the rice dwindled, too. The traditional Kalanamak paddy’s yield is barely two to 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
- One issue was attack of blight bacterial disease. It has also been addressed by inducting blight tolerant genes.
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