IMPHAL, July 20 - Manipur�s aromatic black rice, popularly known as Chakhao or Chahao in local tongue, which has similar food value and taste with a Japanese variety rice, is likely to be made available soon in the super markets across the globe.
A Haryana-based company �High Vision Consultants� is currently trying to promote and introduce the Manipur rice variety in the global market. Sanjay Kumar Swami of High Vision Consultants said, �I can give assurance about the packing and marketing as per government norms.�
Swami was in Imphal recently to oversee the ongoing initiatives in association with the local stakeholders.
Chahao is already in the market but the people around the world did not know about its special character and nutrient values. It was included in the 2016 list of �super food� considering its anti-oxidant properties, and protein, mineral and vitamin contents, he added. It�s like a herbal medicine which can cure diseases and keep you healthy, according to Swami.
Commenting on the upcoming project to promote Chahao, MS Khaidem of Manipur Small Farmers� Agri-Business Consortium Imphal, opined that some product diversification has to be done as every family cannot consume it (Chahao) as a daily diet.
As of now the State Government has also promoted cultivation of Chahao in 2,000 hectares of land under the scheme Mission Organic Value Chain Development.
The scheme aims at promotion and production of certified organic commodities by focusing on export oriented crops, viz., Tamenglong orange, Kachai lemon, pineapple, King chilli, ginger, turmeric and Chakhao (Black aromatic rice) covering a total area of 5,000 hectares involving 5,000 farmers.
This will be organically certified as its is is essential for export purposes, he added and informed that the geographical indication tag for Chahao is expected this year end.
Chahao which is presently sold at Rs 100 a kilogram in Imphal, has a lovely aroma, texture and taste. Chahao Kheer (Black rice pudding) is a mouthwatering dish which is liked by the people of every age group. Some prominent restaurants in Imphal have already introduced the Chahao muffins.