Indian Agricultural Research Institute has successfully tested two new dwarf varieties of Kalanamak rice (Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652) in Uttar Pradesh which give double yield.
About Kalanamak Rice
It is a traditional variety of paddy with black husk and strong aroma.
It is a non-basmati rice with medium slender grain length.
It is believed to be a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of Shravasti when he visited the region after attaining enlightenment.
This variety has been in cultivation since the original Buddhist period (600 BCE).
It is popular in the Himalayan Terai (Kapilvastu) of Nepal and eastern Uttar Pradesh, where it is known as the fragrant black pearl.
Kalanamak rice was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Government of India in 2012.
Two dwarf varieties of Kalanamak rice
Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638
Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652
Health Benefits of Kalanamak
It is rich in micronutrients such as Iron and Zinc.
Therefore it is said to prevent diseases borne out of nutrient deficiencies.
Regular consumption of Kalanamak rice is believed to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
It contains 11% protein, which is almost twice that of common rice varieties.
It has a low glycemic index (49% to 52%) which makes it relatively sugar free and suitable for diabetics.
It also contains antioxidants like anthocyanins which are useful in preventing heart disease.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)
It is also known as the Pusa Institute, India's national institute for agricultural research, education and extension.
The institute was originally located in Pusa, Bihar as the Imperial Institute of Agricultural Research in 1911.
In 1919 it was renamed as Imperial Agricultural Research Institute and after a major earthquake in Pusa, it was shifted to Delhi in 1936.
It is financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
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