According to the American Chemical Society, “black rice is a nutritious and economical food source that is estimated to feed about one third of the world’s population.”
Devakanta, a resident of Manipur and a thinking farmer has been able to adopt and improvise eco friendly methods of farming to increase harvest year after year. Passionate as a small scale entrepreneur to encourage small farmers to continue growing their indigenous rice varieties to improve the growing demands of more new methods of farming
Agriculture provides livelihood support to 70 % of region’s population and is the backbone of the Indian industry. It produces 1.5% of country’s food grain production and continues to be a net importer of food grains even for its own consumption.
Smart and innovative in his approach, what make him different from other farmers is his out of the box thinking in his organic farm, including cancer curing black rice called ‘chakhao poireiton’ and drought resistant varieties.
India is one of the world’s biggest producers of rice along with China but very little is known about the rich variety of rice that is grown across the country.
Manipur has a treasure trove of rice varieties, which can be grown in other states. Farmers grow about 20 varieties of black rice and chakhao protein and has excellent quality.
BLACK RICE: ORGANIC ANTIBIOTIC?
Manipur is famous for black rice called ‘chakhao poireiton’, a highly nutritious variety with high mineral content including iron and amino acids and what is more surprising is its cancer fighting ability. Black rice contains the antioxidant anthorcyanin, the same anti-cancer compound found in blueberries.
Black rice is popular in many countries including Indonesia, Philippines and China. It is used in the preparation of rice cakes or noodles. Centuries ago in the ‘land of the rising sun’, China black rice was known as ‘Forbidden Rice’ because only nobles were allowed to eat it.
Devakanta is working hard with 200 farmers to increase the cultivation of chakhao poireiton in many of his farms which inspires other farmers from Manipur to cultivate this rare rice.
Black rice is a super food with several health benefits and similar to blueberries, salmon,tea,etc
Rice in Manipur is cultivated in different altitudes looking at the topographical area.
Dr Anjali Pathak, an organic consultant said, “I am recommending ‘chakhao poireiton’ to cancer patients who seek my advice and considering the high prices of allopathic drugs which also have terrible side effects, it is advisable to have black rice. Black rice, ayurvedic medicines and organic food can lead to a complete cancer cure.”
The rice is also good to fight diseases like viral fever, influenza, preventing heart diseases, lowers bad cholesterol level in the body, and stabilize blood pressure.
Certain types of carbohydrates, like black rice contain low glucose which makes them a great source of carbs for those who suffering from diabetes according to scientists.
Black rice is a great alternative to white rice and it comes with fewer risks of sugar levels spiking up due to changes in lifestyle.
The whole hearted project, is also being sold through some e-commerce sites for Rs 300-350 a kg. The government would have to chipped it in on elevating further if the black rice has medicinal properties and cancer curing ability.