Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 22 (ANI): In what appears to be a major boost to farm exports from Uttar Pradesh, the state is set to send a consignment of 20 tonnes of Buddha Rice, popularly known as "Kala Namak" Rice, one of the finest varieties of aromatic rice in India, to Singapore soon, according to a release by the state government.
The consignment will be sent to Singapore from Siddharth Nagar by the end of March this year.
According to Additional Chief Secretary, MSME, and Export Promotion Dr Navneet Sehgal, the rice is being packaged in attractive glass jars with all its qualities clearly mentioned on it.
As per the agricultural scientist Dr Ramchet Chaudhury, the packaging of the rice has already started and it would be ready for export soon.
"Also known as 'Buddha ka Mahaprasad' (an offering to Lord Buddha), the Kala Namak Rice has been rebranded as 'Buddha Rice', presenting it as an offering made to the Buddhist monks, in order to promote it in Buddhist countries. The packaging of the rice carries a popular quote of Mahatma Buddha saying 'The unique aroma of the rice will remind people about me'," read the release.
The export of the rice is being seen as a morale booster for farmers cultivating Buddha Rice in Gorakhpur, Deoria, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabeer Nagar, Bahraich, Balrampur, Gonda, Shravasti, which according to the Geographical Indications (GI) share a similar climate.
In order to promote the production, processing, packaging, and branding of Kala Namak Rice, the UP Government has declared it as the One District One Product (ODOP) of Siddharth Nagar whereas the Central Government has announced it as the ODOP of Basti, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj and Sant Kabir Nagar as well.
Dr Chaudhury said that historically Kala Namak Rice was grown at Bajaha Village in Siddharth Nagar district during the period of Mahatma Buddha.
Meanwhile, a Kala Namak Rice festival on the pattern of Strawberry Festival will be held in the state in near future. There is also a plan to set up a Kala Namak Rice Research Centre at Siddharth Nagar in cooperation with the International Rice Research Centre, Varanasi. (ANI)