More and more farmers in Rajbari are now growing black rice, which is rich in medicinal and nutritional properties, after learning that this high-yielding variety is less affected by pests and can be harvested within 90 days of planting.
Moreover, the paddy and rice prices are much higher than regular white or brown rice, making it a lucrative option for farmers in Pangsha, Rajbari.
These paddy plants are green like other varieties, but the husk is dark purple or black, and the rice is also black.
Pangsha Upazila Agriculture Officer Ratan Kumar Ghosh said that prices of as well as demand for black rice and paddy were much higher than regular varieties available in the market.
“Black rice has a lot of antioxidants that increase the immunity of the body. The fiber in it keeps the heart healthy. In addition, this rice prevents diabetes, nerve diseases, and aging,” he added.
Black rice is being cultivated in many parts of the country. The rice is sold at Tk200-300 per kg in Dhaka.
Abdul Quddus of Kurapara area is the superintendent of Abdul Quader Balika Madrasa. He started cultivating black rice experimentally on four decimals of land next to his house.
There is a saying that the kings of China used to consume black rice for good health. However, this rice was forbidden for their subjects. Due to its medicinal properties, Quddus was interested in cultivating this rice.
Later, he watched YouTube and learned more about the cultivation of this rice. After collecting 200 grams of rice seeds from the local market, he started its trial. “I am energized seeing the black rice grains hanging from the top of each plant that sways with the wind,” he said.
Abdul Quddus said that he would store the paddy for the next year.
Al-Amin Hossain of a nearby village came to see this rice field. He watched this rice on YouTube. Al-Amin said the seeds of this variety are sold for Tk500 per kg. “Many farmers in Pangsha are now cultivating this. I am also thinking of growing this rice in my village,” he said.
Another local, Shaheen Reza, said: “I have heard that this rice has medicinal properties. Many diseases can be avoided by consuming black rice regularly. So I will collect this rice and try it.”