Friday, July 2, 2010

Wayanad Jeerakasala Rice is seeking for GI tag

Indian Rice is having many uniqueness features due to this it is fetching good market price. Earlier GI application was filed for Basmati rice ,Pokkali rice ,kalanamak rice ,Palakkadan matta rice . A initiative by Kerala agricultural university bringing two more rice i.e.wayanad jeerakasala rice and wayanad gandkasala rice as GI.

Application is made by Kerala Agricultural University for Registration in Part - A of the Register of Wayanad Jeerakasala Rice under Application No.186 in respect of Rice falling in Class – 30, and it has been advertised in 34 journal of GI and accepted under Sub-section (1) of Section 13 of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999.

Specification: Wayanad Jeerakasala Rice is a popular traditional aromatic rice cultivar of Wayanad District. This scented, non-basmati rice is famous for its characteristic fragrance and aroma. Grains are of medium size and shape (slightly elongated), with golden yellow color and partial short awns. Wayanad Jeerakasala rice differs from Basmati rice due to growth habit, areas of original cultivation, physico-chemical properties of grains and grain shape. The pleasant flavor and aroma of Wayanad Jeerakasala rice fetches a premium price in the market. Other rice cultivars of Wayanad except Gandhakasala are non aromatic and hence are used for ordinary consumption.

The major grain characters are given below: (1). Kernel length 4.7 mm - 6.0 mm , (2).Kernel shape (lib) 2.13 - 2.73 ,3. Kernel colour White, 4. Aroma Slight to moderate, 5. Hull color Golden yellow, 6. 1000 grain weight 18.0 - 23.0 gms ,7. Volume expansion ratio 4.50 - 4.90 ,8. Kernel elongation ratio 1.32 - 1.42 ,9.Brown rice (%) 77.0 - 81.0, 10.Total milled rice (%) 70.0 - 73.0, 11. Degree of milling (%) 70.0 - 75.0 ,12. Head rice recovery (%) 61.0 - 65.0,(13).Gelatinization temperature High to intermediate (14). Chalkiness Less than 10 %,(15).Amylose content (%) 20(intermediate). Jeerakasala is a variety that is traditionally grown as an organic crop to ensure the best quality of the product

Description of Goods: The botanical name of rice plant is Oryza sativa. The average grain yield of Wayanad Jeerakasala Rice is 2.0-2.7 t/ ha and straw yield of 4.0 t/ha. The plants are tall with long duration of 180 to 190 days and are weakly photosensitive. It is a tall variety with weak straw and is susceptible to lodging and is tolerant to pests and diseases. The average plant height is 130-140cm with lesser no. of tillers (average 7 to 8 tillers) and very long panicles (27-31 cm) with 130 to 150 grains which are short awned, medium in size and shape (slightly elongated) with golden yellow color for the hull.

Wayanad Jeerakasala rice differs from Basmati rice due to growth habit, areas of original cultivation, physico -chemical properties of grains and grain shape. The grains of Basmati, popular aromatic rice variety of India are slender and elongated when compared to this variety (The variety Basmati 370 has a kernel length of 6.0 - 6.8 mm).

Proof of Origin (Historical records):Mention about the traditional tall indica aromatic cultivars like Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala are noted in the age old Malayalam books written on the basis of old verbal recitation in Malayalam called "Krishi Gita" describing the whole agricultural practices followed in Malayalakkara, present day Kerala, during the 17th century.

The rice variety Jeerakasala, is also mentioned in the book Pulluvappattum Naagaaradhanayum, Paatukalum patanavum (pulluva songs and snake worship - songs and studies) published in 1977.

Scientists from M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Kalpetta, Wayanad described the rice cultivation system of Wayanad and the culture of Kurichya and Kuruma tribal communities in Wayanad. In this article it is mentioned that Jeerakasala is ideal for cultivation in Kundu Vayals .

Commitment by tribal groups: Wayanad has the highest concentration of tribes in Kerala. The livelihood and food security of tribal group of Wayanad viz., Kurichyas and Kurumas ,Chettis mainly depends on paddy. These groups have a commitment for the conservation of these varieties as a gift to the coming generations.

Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers' Rights Authority, Govt. of India honoured the Kuruma and Kurichya tribal communities of Wayanad district through "Plant Genome Saviour Community Award" 2008 for their contributions in the conservation of traditional rice varieties including Jeerakasala

Uniqueness: The uniqueness of this rice is mainly attributed to particular climatic conditions prevalent in the area, together with varietal characters and system of rice cultivation, adding to the best expression of aroma and flavour in the product. Wayanad is the land of hills and deep valleys. Annual rainfalls in these high rainfall areas range from 3000-4000 mm. Lakkidi, Vythiri and Meppadi are the high rainfall areas in Wayanad.

This aromatic rice is used for the preparation of special food like Ghee rice, also called "Neichore", a delicacy of the Muslims of Kerala, and is a major Mappilah cuisine. In current days, not only Muslims, but all sections of the society have likings to such preparations leading to a growing demand for small grained aromatic rice.

Source: GI journal

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