SRINAGAR: After successful revival of traditional aromatic rice variety of Mushkbudji, the government is working to revive traditional rice varieties of Zag and Kamad in Kashmir Valley.
The was disclosed by Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura at a function here to inaugurate sale of the traditional aromatic rice variety of Mushkbudji.
The sale is being jointly organized by the Department of Agriculture, Kashmir and Agro Industries Development Corporation (AIDC).
On the occasion, about 13 quintals of the aromatic rice in 1, 2, 5 and 10 kg bags were made available for sale at a discounted price of Rs 160 per kg, while as the aromatic rice will be available at Rs 180 in the market.
It took scientists adecade to isolated and produced pure lines of the Mushkbudji crop.
During the period the Department of Agriculture Kashmir, endeavoured to cover an area of 125 hectares (or 2500 kanals) at Sagam (Kokernag) in Anantnag by providing seeds and required fertilizers free of cost to 420 farmers.
It was informed that 6029 quintals of the Mushkbudji rice was produced at Sagam this year, adding the Department procured some 1350 quintals, at Rs 8000 per quintal to farmers, for marketing by the AIDC.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister appreciated the efforts of the Department of Agriculture Kashmir and SKUAST for reviving the Mushkbudji crop and controlling the blast disease that the crop is susceptibleto.
The Minister said the Chief Minister releasing Rs one crore for procurement and marketing of the aromatic rice, besides declaring Sagam as a Model Village for Mushkbudji.
He said the Mushkbudji will be made available at tourist reception centres, airports, hotels and the like to promote it and attract tourists to buy it. He also said a processing unit will be made available at Sagam soon.
Hanjura further stated that the State and New Delhi are keen on improving the status of farmers, with schemes like the Fasal Bhima Yojana introduced to cover losses to farmers from disasters and other calamities.
Some 200 farmers participated in the event, wherein 10 progressive farmers of the Sagam village were given complementary certificates for preserving and producing the Mushkbudji variety. The farmers involved in its production have already been paid a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
On the occasion, legislator Abdul Rahim Rather called for the village to be notified as Mushkbudji village and stressed on greater efforts in retaining the original quality of the traditional variety.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Showkat Ahmad, Director Command Area Kashmir Itrat Hussain, Director (Research) SKUAST, Mohammad Yousuf Zargar, and other senior officers of the Department and the SKUAST were present on the occasion.