Conceptualising CHAK-HAO (Black Scented Rice) as the Capital Resource of Manipur

Black Scented Rice (Oryza sativa Linnaeus) locally known as Chak-Hao amubi/ Chak-Hao poireiton is now confined to serving only as delicacy in local feast and festivities. Till very late, the black rice is not cultivated commercially as the same cannot be used as staple food thereby resulting to limited market access. But now having realized the inherent unique properties, a good scope for commercial cultivation and value addition of its products for a profitable agro-business have been envisioned. The area under cultivation of Black Rice is comparatively very low, approximately it ranges 60-70 ha only till last kharif 2015. Even though the yield of Chak-Hao is very low as compared to HYV Rice, it is still more profitable in term of economic returns as evident from the analysis report detailed below.

Chak-Hao (Black Rice) HYV Rice
(Average assumption on field report in 1 Ha.)

Cost of cultivation    Rs.60,000.00

Production (Paddy)       3120 kgs (@52Phoubots/Ha)

Processed Rice (65% recovery): 2028 kgs.

Sale of unprocessed Paddy @50/kg =  Rs.1,56,000.00

Sale of processed      Rice  @80/kg = Rs.1,59,120.00

(Less processing charge of Rs.3120.00)

**Food Value: 100gm serving
Carbohydrate-34; Protein- 8.7; Iron-3.5; Fiber-4.9 with Highest Antioxidant

(Average assumption on field report in 1 Ha.)

Cost of cultivation             Rs.68,000.00

Production (Paddy)           6000 kgs

Processed Rice (70% recovery): 4200 kgs.

Sale of unprocessed Paddy@18/kg =   Rs.1,08,000.00

Sale of processed      Rice  @30/kg = Rs.1,20,000.00

( Less processing charge of Rs.6000.00)

**Food Value: 100gm serving.
Carbohydrate 76; Protein-6.8; Iron-1.2;Fiber-0.6 Antioxidant-traces.

Scope for Market:

Although, Black Rice cannot be consumed as staple food, because of the unique inherent nutritional value, therice  has been slowly  ga i n in g  its importance and demands from around the globe. As of now, few enterprising units and state’s entrepreneurs are regularly marketing the processed and graded rice in the National markets. Interestingly Manipur Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium has been regularly  receiving demands not only from National Market consumers but

also  from South Asian and European Countries. However, of the two prominent varieties viz. Chak-Hao Poireiton and Chak-Hao Amubi, the later is having more demand from the consumers.

Intervention Required:

This location specific potentials could only be harnessed when commercial cultivation could be undertaken either on Contract Farming System or Public Private Partnership (PPP) model as this can only ensure production with the required quality parameters and assured buy-back arrangement.

Post Harvest Management requiring R & D Support:

The most important common constraint encountered with Chakhao is poor keeping quality caused due to heavy infestation by Rice Weevil and Rice Moth both either in processed or unprocessed grain due to high moisture content during harvest and storage. Standardized technologies need to be disseminated to the growers for commercialization.

Properties and Benefits of Black Rice:

Purple or black rice is considered to be the healthiest   rice variety, with a higher vitamin and mineral content  than both white and brown rice. Black rice owes its colour to powerful natural black colouring pigments called anthocyaninswhich boast an impressive antioxidant activity adding to the health benefits of this rice variety. In addition to being  a good  source  of vitamin E, fibre  and  protein,  black  rice  is shown   to reduce inflammation levels   in   the   body. According to findings of the research, black rice consumption contributes to the prevention and management of serious conditions such as atherosclerosis, hypertension high cholesterol levels, arthritis, allergies and even cancer.

How is black rice  different  from white and  brown rice?

Finest  of all,  black  rice varieties   are stickier  than  regular  white  rice or brown  rice due  to a lower Amylase  content and  a higher  Amylopectin content. Amylose and amylopectin are the two components of starch. Stickier black rice is thus called glutinous; despite being called so, it contains no gluten. Secondly, its dark colour is the result of a high anthocyanins content which gives rice a black pigment when raw.

What does black rice taste like?

Actually, black rice has mild nutty taste. Paired with a sticky texture, it is ideal for desserts such as rice pudding, Kheer, rice bread, even noodles,  pasta and  so on. Overall, black rice is ranked healthier than  brown  rice  and regular  consumption is said  to con tribute to overall health. Here are 5 reasons why we  should consider including black  rice in our diet.

1. High antioxidant  content.

The dark colour of black rice indicates the presence of powerful antioxidant-pigments called anthocyanins.  The same anthocyanins that give black rice its black and purple colouring can be found  in blackberries and blueberries.  As we already know, blueberries   blackberries and other dark-coloured fruits boast an incredible antioxidant activity. And so does black rice. Antioxidants prevents cell damages caused by free radicals and thus provide protection  against illnesses such as diabetes,  heart disease and even reduce cancer risks by treating conditions that  may evolve into cancer.

2. Black rice promotes heart  health.

The high anthocyanins  content in black rice prevents  plaque buildup on artery walls, the
main  cause  for atherosclerosis and  heart attacks. The plaque that shrinks arteries is actually fat,  calcium   and  other deposits. Apparently, the anthocyanins in dark-coloured   fruits and vegetables and black rice control cholesterol (blood fat) levels and thus contribute to maintaining a  healthy heart   and healthy circulatory system.  They are so effective that no modern drug has been able  to replicate their cholesterol-lowering effects yet.

3. Delays aging.

One of the main functions  of antioxidants  is to prevent  cell damage and help repair damaged cells, This  basically  means  that  with enough  antioxidants, our body might  keep on in good health  forever  due to having  perfectly  healthy working  cells. Of course, this is but a theory. However, there is scientific evidence that a diet consisting of antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries or black slows down cellular aging and delays  aging signs,

4. Disease prevention.

Black rice is said to help prevent diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer due to its high antioxidant content.

5. Helps to Prevent Diabetes.

Studies have shown that when it comes to the

risk of developing diabetes and even obesity, consuming whole grains is much more beneficial and preventative than consuming refined carbohydrates. Compared to eating processed carbohydrates which are stripped of their fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help to slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood stream, black rice is a much healthier option.Black rice contains the entire bran of the grain where the fiber is stored, and fiber is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer period of time.

6. No gluten.

Being gluten-free, black rice can be safely eaten if we are suffering  from Celiac disease, gluten intolerance   or even wheat  allergy  black or purple  rice, brown  rice, white rice,  amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are all gluten-free  and thus go easy on the small intestine, allowing for digestion  to run  its normal course.

Overall, black rice is by far the healthiest rice variety.

It supports cardiovascular health, delays aging and plays a part in the prevention of certain illnesses such as diabetes and Alzheimer. Regular consumption appears to regularize blood cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Low in sugar and rich in fibre, black rice makes a genuinely healthy dietary choice with good amount of vitamin E.

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