Manipur’s black rice to be put up for e-auction

Manipur’s black rice to be put up for e-auction

IMPHAL, May 18, 2018: Chakhao, a black rice that is indigenous to Manipur, is all set to be put up for an e-auction for the first time ever.

The e-auction will be executed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited on its portal from 10am on Friday.

An official stated that Manipur’s agriculture department collaborator, Neramac has already filed an application for GI (Geographical Indications) for black rice under the Union commerce ministry.

“As we have filed GI application, we wanted black rice to get more exposure and the trading community to know about it. Hence, we took the e-auction route,” he added.

Black rice, locally known as chakhao, is grown in the plains and hills of Manipur where the soil quality is rich. It owes its colour to natural black pigments called anthocyanins which boast of impressive antioxidant activity that adds health benefits of this rice. It is said to be anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, beneficial for heart and to prevent onset of Alzheimer’s disease.Manipur is one of the largest wild rice-growing areas in the world. Semi wild rice varieties are mostly grown in the state.

Black rice has a mild nutty taste and a special aroma because of Manipur’s soil. The black colour usually turns deep purple once it is cooked. Manipur produces around 1,800 MT of black rice and cultivates it in 600 hectares.

An important aspect of black rice cultivation is that farmers neither apply agro-chemicals nor use any motorised implements, states the GI application. Only human labour is used for farming, it added.

Twelve buyers have already registered for the e-auction and 118 metric tonnes will be auctioned on Friday. Of the 12 buyers, three are from Manipur.

TNT with inputs from The Telegraph

Image Courtesy: Assamica Agro



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