Traditionally produced brown rice from Sundargarh are in demand
Sundargarh: The demand for the husk lever pound rice also referred as ‘Dhinki Kuta Chaula’ in Odia is witnessing a steady rise among health-conscious food connoisseurs.
In order to cater to the rise in demand, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in Sundargarh is incentivizing women from local tribal communities to produce traditional husk lever pound rice, or brown rice (whole grain rice) which in return would enhance their income avenues.
The programme is part of the ‘Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram’ (VDVK) which is aimed at creating substantial livelihood opportunity for members of various tribal communities by using their traditional knowledge and expertise.
Fiber-rich brown rice is sold at a premium in the market for its health benefits. ITDA has provided husk lever pounds, weighing and packaging machines to WSHGs for the production of high-value brown rice.
Eighteen VDVK units have been set up by ITDA Sundargarh in 9 blocks of the district. Over 300 women from 30 WSHGs each have been associated with every unit. So far, 600 husk lever pounds have been distributed among 4 VDVK units, benefitting 1200 women.
The red outer layer of lever pound rice is rich in nutrients like fiber, protein and iron which help maintain cholesterol level in body.
“We are producing brown rice by using the husk lever pound given to us by ITDA under the VDVK programme. The produce is giving us good returns and helping us foot household bills and children’s education expenses,” said Chanchala Naik, a beneficiary from Sahebdera village under Lephripara block.
The brown rice produced by VDVK members is weighed and packaged using machines before being dispatched for sale. The nutrition-rich rice is fetching three times the price of mill rice available in the local market.
“We have been given training by ITDA to produce brown rice from paddy using husk lever pound. They provided us the machines required for weighing and packaging. We’re getting good returns by selling the produce in the market and at fairs,” said Pushpa Majhi, another beneficiary.