Organic Rajamudi rice draws fitness freaks at farmer fair in Bengaluru- The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: Organic rice variety Rajamudi, which is believed to have once graced the palate of erstwhile royal households, is a big draw at the Krishi Mela, especially among health-conscious visitors. 

According to officials at the Organic Farming Research Station (OFRS), Naganahalli, the red-coloured rice is grown on 4 acres of land on OFRS’ 60-acre property in Mysuru.

Farm Superintendent, OFRS, P Prakash told The New Indian Express that the crop takes 160 days to yield and the research station has managed to derive 12 quintals per acre. He said that at present, the station has successfully managed to collect 351 types of paddy, and is promoting many local varieties. The idea is to encourage farmers to cultivate organic rice on one or two acres for their own consumption.

“We cultivate the rice without using pesticides and ensure it gets sufficient water supply. Our primary focus was on local crops like ‘Bili’, ‘Kempu’, ‘Kappu’, ‘Bangar Kovai’, ‘Rathna Choodi’, ‘Gandhasale’, and others. A few varieties are already available in the market, but they are not grown organically. At the station, we research on increasing output, while through fairs, we aim to make farmers and visitors aware about healthy diet,” Prakash said, adding that organic farming is costly and demanding. 

“If the farmer intends to make a profit, he may not opt for this method on a large tract of land. Based on the acres, a farmer would expect 40 quintals of output, hence it is suggested that he grows the crop in one or two acres for consumption,” he added.

The research station has displayed dozens of organic paddy varieties and has also brought Rajamudi rice grown at the 4 acres area at the station premises at Naganahalli in Mysuru. The price for the rice is fixed at Rs 70 per kg, said Sumath Kumar, Research Associate, OFRS.