The Department of Agriculture will consider setting up modern mini rice mills to process the paddy harvested from the fields in the highlands of Kanjikuzhy and nearby areas.
Inaugurating the harvesting of Rakthashali, Jaya and Basmati rice varieties grown on a trial basis in Kanjikuzhy grama panchayat, Agriculture Minister P. Prasad said steps would be taken to promote upland rice cultivation in the region.
The rice varieties were grown by Sreekanth, a dental doctor, on 4.5 acres at Kundelattu paddy polder.
“The cultivation of different varieties of rice has proven to be successful. The Department of Agriculture will take steps to extend paddy cultivation to the upland fields in the region. To solve the problem of processing harvested paddy, the department will consider setting up mini rice mills,” Mr. Prasad said.
Kanjikuzhy is known for growing organic vegetables. Grama panchayat officials said several farmers in the region are now gearing up for commercial rice production.
Of the three varieties grown in Kundelattu, Rakthashali with red husk and grain is considered uneconomical compared to some high yielding rice varieties. But the almost extinct variety of rice with high medicinal value has properties to cure many ailments. Dr. Sreekanth bought the Rakthashali seeds from Narayanan, a farmer, and the Basmati seeds from an online market.
Kanjikuzhy grama panchayat chairwoman Geetha Karthikeyan presided. Grama panchayat Vice President Mr. Santhosh Kumar, Agriculture Officer Janeesh and others spoke.