How many varieties of rice India has?
Ask this to one who visits the shopping mall for her household provisions. Chances are that she will not be able to count over a half a dozen variety. I was stumped when during the recently concluded “Seed Festival” held at Janta Kendra, near Mumbai Central, I came across a stall from Odisha which had put on display 300-odd varieties. “We have around 380-odd rice varieties grown by farmers in our state but I could not bring them all, “said the lady.
Sahaja Samrudha Organic of Karnataka had on display rice varieties from the State namely Ambe Mohar, Doddabaya Nellu, Navara, Kagisali, Karikalave, Ankur Sona, Sannaki, Kari Gajivili, Karibatha and others. The protein content of these varieties range from 5.30 % to 8.12 %. Rich in carbohydrates and energy these varieties are known as medicinal rice. Karibatha grown in Varada river basin of Sagara and Soraba division is used to cure Herpes. Kalame grown in the State’s coastal region can cure piles. Karikalave which is specific to Gulbarga and Bidar is eaten to control acidity and cold. Sanakki grown around Sirsi and Mundagodu is used to cure diarrhea in children. Its highly fragrant and is considered an ideal for preparation of kesarbath, biryani and payasam. Athikarya, an old variety is also used for curing diarrhea.Grown in Kanakapura, Karinellu is used as medicine for jaundice.