Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rice Cultivation In India

1.High Productivity > 2,500 Kg/Hectare.
2.Medium Productivity = 2,000-2,500 Kg/Hectare.
3.Medium-Low Productivity = 1,500-2,000 Kg/Hectare.
4.Low-Productivity = 1,000-1,500 Kg/Hectare.
5.Very-Low Productivity <>

Patna Rice on Telegraph

Found this on Telegraph.UK link

Q Years ago, one was always advised to use "long-grain patna rice" for everything except puddings and risottos. Is it still available today? RJ, London W6

A Patna is simply a variety of long-grain white rice, grown extensively around Patna, the capital of Bihar state in India. It has a longer grain than basmati and a much milder flavour.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Patna Rice Connection of J. W. Fiske & Co.

The firm of J. W. Fiske and Company was one of the preeminent makers and retailers of ornamental iron and zinc objects in New York City in the second half of the nineteenth century, producing a wide range of garden fountains, statues, urns, and furniture. And the amazing thing is that Mr. Fiske has a PATNA RICE connection.

During one of his travels abroad on business, he is said to have purchased 13 tonnes of PATNA RICE from India.
"Another account records the purchase of thirteen tons of Patna rice from India..."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Classical Cultivation of Patna Rice

Rice has been cultivated in the Gangetic plains of India for millennia. The cultivation of rice here is not just any other cultivation, but it s process that has moulded the culture of the people like no other. There are songs specific for each activity, there is merriment, there are festivals, in fact it would not be an exaggeration to say that the whole life of people revolves around cultivation of rice.

The process of cultivation of rice starts around the first week of June when the harsh Indian summer is at its peak. The last feasting of the lagan (marriage season) is over and the summer has left everyone exhausted. The seasonal high points of summer, the mangoes, the lichees, and the kharbujas and tarbujas have all come and gone. Even as the sun is still mercilessly beating down on the Gangetic plains and heat waves have parched the normally humid landscape totally dry, sucking out the last drops of water from every crevice, the cultivator starts to bring out his implements – his plough, chaas, and other implements. Taking stomach full of traditional drinks made from ground gram (sattu) and occasionally saunf, and keeping full onion in his pocket, he has to leave the cool environs of his thatched hut and start venturing into the unforgiving hot and dry weather. Functional literacy, handed through word of mouth over generations has taught him how to survive the extreme weather with minimum of appurtenances.


He takes his implements to the village artisans – the blacksmith and the carpenter - to make them ready for the busy season ahead. He knows that once the rains fall, there would be no time to tend to his implements. It is also the time to spread the cow-dung, which was allowed to rot in ditches for the whole year. Unlike the other fertiliser, this manure has to be spread on his best field, as he knows that there is no manure better than this organic manure for his tender seedlings.

Spreading the seedlings

The first drops of rain fall around mid June heralding the monsoon. As the first drops of water quench the thirst of the parched earth, it oozes an intoxicating earthy (saundha) smell that can be found in only this part of the world. It is as if the no nonsense tomboy has turned all feminine grace on getting married. The first rain is normally accompanied with strong cool winds and sometime also hailstorm. Now there is no time to loose and the cultivator has to quickly plough the Beehan Kiyaris (Seedling fields) where the manure has already been spread. In less than a week, those fields have to be ploughed, seeds spread and flattened again for the seed to start germinating in the hot and humid soil just under the surface.

Ploughing the Land

Once the seedlings have been taken care of, all the agricultural fields in the village good enough for rice cultivation have to be ploughed. It would be barely six weeks when the seedlings would be ready for transplantation and the ploughing has to be accomplished in this period. By this time, the monsoon is in full flow and the urgency of the first couple of days of the rice cultivation season has given way to the humdrum of the busy agricultural season. There are still not enough hours to do all that needs to be done, but life assumes a routine.


The humdrum of ploughing follows the extreme activity of the transplantation phase. The transplantation is a very intricate process that has to be done very quickly. If the seedlings are allowed to get over-ripe before being transplanted, it would be very harmful for the quality for the rice. No cultivator has the resources to accomplish this alone and all of them have to depend on others to achieve this. This is the time when old rivalries and petty differences have to be forgotten as this once in a year opportunity cannot be missed. All able bodied men and women are out in the field. Elderly help with household chores like cooking and children help by transporting the meals to the field as there is no time to loose in commuting between the field and the house. Men may not rest for days and children may bunk school. Even the teachers may leave the school to give a helping hand during this crucial phase.

There is some respite from hard physical labour once the transplantation is done, but no time to be lax. Now is the time to tend the field and protect it from all enemies, both natural and human. Machan may be put in the field to keep a watchful eye day and night. The male members may not have a chance to come home for weeks. There has to be just enough water in the field for the rice to grow – if you don’t drain the excess water, it would become flooded and destroy the crop. If it is less, the paddy may start to die. The same village neighbour who had helped him in the crucial transplantation phase may now not hesitate to leave his cattle loose for grazing in an unattended field. If the neighbour had not helped when all were watching, the animosity would have come out in the open; in the cover of darkness, one can always settle a few scores without too much damage to one’s reputation. In any case, the petty differences, probably festering for generations, were merely papered over, not by any means settled.

Mid season Break

Around October, the paddy has grown to waist height and needs less tending. Monsoon has somewhat slackened and there is festivities everywhere for now is the festival (puja) season. : Dushshra, Divali and Chath are celebrated in this period. The all round greenery adds to the festivities. Other than keeping a watchful eye to keep the cattle and the thief away, which brothers and friendly neighbours can take turns to do, it is a time of comparative physical rest but mental alertness.


Harvesting starts as soon as the last araghya to the Sun god has been given. This is another period of intense physical activity when the paddy has to be harvested and transported to the Kharihaan for processing. When we see Indian software professionals slogging during crucial phases of a project like go live or testing, and barely managing to keep office timings during ‘normal’ office days, one cannot help thinking if they have got it in their genes from their agriculturist forebears who had to work seasonally like this. It is this perhaps which helps him in his direct march from the agricultural age to the information age, bypassing the evolution of the industrial age and its clockwork precision.


As the temperature starts to dip with the onset of the winter, the processing of the grain starts in the Kharihaan. After the first offering to the gods – the gram devi (village deity), the fruits of the labour is ready to savour. Certain varieties of rice may be boiled with the husk to prepare the parboiled rice. After this, the rice husk is removed in the wooden "dheki", a process greatly enjoyed by the ladies of the house. This process

Rice has always been a symbol of plenty in Hindu tradition. According to the custom married women in India are honoured and wished a life of plenty by presenting them with a handful of rice, turmeric and grass saplings (Khoincha) on all festive occasions. The throwing of rice is associated with all pious Hindu rituals include weddings.

Patna Rice, the king of all rice, comes to you from the intricate handcrafted process described above, perfected over generations.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

FAQ's on Patna rice.

What is Patna rice?

Patna rice is a variety of long grain rice originally grown in Patna (Bihar State), India where it has been used as a staple food for thousands of years. Patna rice is known for its elongated kernel with grain length greater than 6mm and mild earthy aroma.

This mildly flavored rice comes from the Gangetic plains of Bihar state in India. It has a robust, long and narrow, opaque grain that keeps its shape well after being cooked. Patna rice is one of the premium qualities of rice available in UK and USA and is the highly valued for its unique taste and mild aroma.

How does one classify rice?
Rice can be classified based on various factors like length, color, region, quality, texture etc. A brief description is given below;

Length: One of the most common methods of classifying rice is by length. The United States is the only country that uses three sizes - short, medium, and long-grain - for classifying the length of rice grains.

Color: Rice can also be classified by color: brown or white. Brown rice consists of the entire kernel minus the hull, while white rice is the result of processing to completely remove the bran layers. White rice is often enriched with nutrients (especially in Western nations), such as iron, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, to help restore some of the lost nutritional value.

Region: Rice may be grouped or classified according to the area or country in which the rice is cultivated or used. Although many countries export rice to other areas of the world, the majority of rice is used in the area where it is grown. This is especially true in Asia where rice is such an important part of the diet. In the United States, over half of the rice crop is exported.

Quality: The quality of Rice is classified by the quality of the grains, usually according to the quantity of broken grains that are included per standard measure.

Top Quality Rice: The quantity of broken grains is no more than 5 percent of the total. Standard Rice: A maximum of 15 percent broken grains.
Household Rice: There are two groups under the household category - a maximum of 25 percent broken grains and a maximum of 40 percent broken grains.
Broken Rice: a minimum of 40 percent of the rice contains broken grains.

Texture: The texture of rice after cooking may range from very sticky and soft to very firm and fluffy. Sticky rice is often referred to as glutinous rice. In spite of the name, glutinous rice contains no gluten, but some varieties have gluten-like properties.

What is the difference between Patna rice, Basmati rice and Carolina rice?

Patna rice is a mildly aromatic long grain rice which is grown in the gangetic plains of Bihar. This is ideally suited for the western style of cooking. The seeds of Patna rice were taken to America, cultivated in Carolina and exported to Britain before the American civil war, and acquired the name Carolina rice. Thus the term Carolina rice is also sometimes used to denote this variety of rice.

Basmati Rice is is a close cousin of Patna Rice grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. It has a stronger aroma. When cooked,the grain rice doubles, partially splits lengthwise, and is curved. Basmati rice is the least glutinous of all rice; once cooked, the grains remain separate.

What are some of the premium long grained rice preferred in the USA?

Basmati Rice: Long-grain rice that is approximately four times longer than it is wide. Basmati is one of the most popular long-grain rice varieties due to its fragrance, flavor, and texture. Much of the basmati rice is cultivated in India and Pakistan. The rice is fluffy and dry and the grains do not stick together after it is cooked.

Patna rice aka Carolina rice: A brand name for long-grain rice that is approximately four times longer than it is wide. It is one of the most popular varieties in the USA and was first cultivated in Carolinas during the 17th Century. It is now cultivated mostly in Arkansas, Texas, and California. Patna rice is fluffy and dry when cooked and the grains do not stick together. Steaming and baking are excellent preparation methods for Patna rice, which can be used in pilafs, salads, and a variety of cooked dishes. Patna rice is also known as Carolina rice and it is available in many large food stores.

Himalayan red rice: A long-grain variety of rice with red bran that is cultivated in Nepal. Himalayan red rice has a rich, nutty flavor and a deep red color when cooked. Himalayan red rice has a firm texture that makes it a good choice for salads and various pilaf recipes.

Indian red rice: A long-grain un milled variety of rice with red bran that is cultivated in India. Red rice has a nutty flavor and is reddish-tan in color.

Kasmati rice: Long-grain variety of aromatic rice developed in the USA. that is considered to be similar to Basmati in taste and texture. It is generally used for Indian and Middle-Eastern food dishes.

Texmati rice: A variety of Della rice, which is a cross between basmati and other long-grain rice varieties grown primarily in the southern United States. When cooked it
expands widthwise, but maintains the same length. It is not as aromatic as basmati rice, but is more flavorful and aromatic than other long-grain rice from the U.S. It is fluffy dry rice that does not stick together after it is cooked.

What is the USP of Patna Rice?

Apart from the inherent characteristics, Patna rice is grown in the Patna region, which has produced premium quality rice for eons. The special characteristic of soil in the Ganges plain, along with the weather conditions and the traditional method of cultivation result in the uniqueness of Patna rice.
We plan to market rice from farms using organic (traditional) method of cultivation. In addition, the product is hand picked and almost all the steps taken from the planting to packaging is done manually. Patna rice is old, internationally renowned, aromatic, long grain rice which evolved to its present form in the climatic richness of gangetic plains of Patna in the state of Bihar, India.

How is it going to help the farmers in Bihar? Which section of farmers would benefit from it? What are the criteria for choosing the target group of farmers?

The revenue that is generated will be primarily spent on development of farming infrastructure, establishing local nodal export cells, bringing more product from Bihar on the export list and research and development. It will help us in promoting Brand Bihar as a land of agro-based opportunities. We will be able to offer a basket of agro based products which will include world famous Rice, Maldah mango, Shahi litchee, Malbhog banana, etc. This will also help us in reviving the agro-based industries in Bihar which will have multiplier effect on the overall economy of the state.

It will also generate positive publicity and sustained media attention, investor’s attention and International attention. All these will lead to an improved investment in the agricultural sector of Bihar which could be economically, socially, and politically rewarding for one and all.

The regions best suited for its farming would be the rice belt of Bihar i.e. districts of Patna, Ara, Buxar, Rohtas, Bhabhua, Mohania and Jehanabad.

Is quantity the criteria for export or is it quality?

Quality is the main criteria. We want to create a niche market for genuine premium Patna rice, grown organically in the region of its origin. We want to tap the niche market that currently exists for this product.

What do you envision happening two years from now?

We have a good case for global recognition for Patna rice. We will be very close to getting it two years from now. In the meantime we will be streamlining the procurement, packaging, quality control and export components of the program. Apart from the things related to Patna Rice, our efforts will also help in generating positive publicity for Bihar on both national and international front. This will helping projecting Bihar as an agricultural hub and will generate interest among investors.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

History of "Patna" and "Rice"

Patna - The name

Etymologically, Patna derives its name from the word Pattan, which means port in Sanskrit. It may be indicative of the location of this place on the confluence of four rivers, which functioned as a port. It is also believed that the city derived its name from Patan Devi, the presiding deity of the city, and her temple is one of the shakti peethas.

One legend ascribes the origin of Patna to a mythological king, Putraka, who created Patna by a magic stroke for his queen Patali, literally Trumpet flower, which gives it its ancient name Pataligram. It is said that in honour of the first born to the queen, the city was named Pataliputra. Gram is the Sanskrit for a village and Putra means a son.

Patna (पटना) is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar, and one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world.Patna lies on the southern bank of the Ganges, as it flows past with the combined waters of the rivers Ghagra, Sone and Gandak. At the point where the city is located, the sacred Ganges looks more sea than river: mighty, wide and never-ending.

A bustling city of 1,200,000 people, the city is approximately 15 km long and 5 km to 7 km wide.Apart from being the administrative centre of the state and its historic importance, the city is also a major educational centre and medical centre.

Rice-The name

Oryza glaberrima
Oryza sativa

Rice refers to two species (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima) of grass, native to tropical and subtropical southeastern Asia and to Africa. The seed is a grain (caryopsis) 5-12 mm long and 2-3 mm thick. The word rice derives from the Tamil word arisi.

Rice cultivation is considered to have begun simultaneously in many countries over 6500 years ago. Two species of rice were domesticated, Asian rice (Oryza sativa) and African rice (Oryza glaberrima).

It is believed that common wild rice, Oryza rufipogon, was the wild ancestor of Asian rice , O. sativa appears to have originated around the foothills of the Himalayas, with O. sativa var. indica on the Indian side and O. sativa var. japonica on the Chinese side.

O. sativa was adapted to farming in the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe around 800 BCE. The Moors brought it to the Iberian Peninsula when they conquered it in 711 CE. After the middle of the 15th century, rice spread throughout Italy and then France, later propagating to all the continents during the great age of European exploration. In 1694, rice arrived in South Carolina, probably originating from Madagascar. The Spanish brought rice to South America at the beginning of the 18th century.

In the United States, colonial South Carolina and Georgia grew and amassed great wealth from the slave labour obtained from the Senegambia area of West Africa. At the port of Charleston, through which 40% of all American slave imports passed, slaves from this region of Africa brought the highest prices, in recognition of their prior knowledge of rice culture, which was put to use on the many rice plantations around Georgetown, Charleston, and Savannah. From the slaves, plantation owners learned how to dike the marshes and periodically flood the fields.

At first the rice was milled by hand with wooden paddles, then winnowed in sweetgrass baskets (the making of which was another skill brought by the slaves). The invention of the rice mill increased profitability of the crop, and the addition of water power for the mills in 1787 by millwright Jonathan Lucas was another step forward. Rice culture in the southeastern U.S. became less profitable with the loss of slave labour after the American Civil War, and it finally died out just after the turn of the 20th century.

Rice cultivars are often classified by their grain shapes and texture.
For example, Thai Jasmine rice is long-grain and relatively less sticky, as long-grain rice contains less amylopectin than short-grain cultivars. Chinese restaurants usually serve long-grain as plain unseasoned steamed rice. Japanese mochi rice and Chinese sticky rice are short-grain. Chinese people use sticky rice which is properly known as "glutinous rice" (which does not contain dietary gluten) to make zongzi. The Japanese table rice is a sticky, short-grain rice.
Japanese sake rice is another kind as well.

Indian rice cultivars include long-grained and aromatic Basmati (grown in the North), long and medium-grained Patna rice and short-grained Masoori. Rice in East India and South India, is usually prepared by boiling the rice in large pans immediately after harvesting and before removing the husk; this is referred to in English as parboiled rice. It is then dried, and the husk removed later. It often displays small red speckles, and has a smoky flavour from the fires.

Aromatic rices have definite aromas and flavours; the most noted cultivars are the aforementioned basmati, Patna rice, and a hybrid cultivar from America sold under the trade name, Texmati. It is a cross between Basmati and American long-grained rice that is creating great controversy. Both Basmati and Texmati have a mild popcorn-like aroma and flavour.

Draft genomes for the two most common rice cultivars, indica and japonica, were published in April 2002. Rice was chosen as a model organism for the biology of grasses because of its relatively small genome (~430 megabase pairs). As a result rice was the first plant or animal to have its complete genome mapped . Basmati rice is the oldest, common progenitor for most types.

Patna( Bglpr) medium grain

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Genuine Patna Rice; Medium Grain> 6mm

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Genuine Patna Rice; Long Grain

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What is "Patna Rice"

Wikipidia defines Patna rice as:

Patna rice, a variety of the species Oryza sativa, and one of the varieties of long-grain white rice, is extensively cultivated in the Indo-gangetic plains, in and around Patna, capital of Bihar state, India. Patna rice is known for its elongated kernel with grain length greater than 6 mm, and has been used as staple food by the local people for thousands of years. Sometimes, Patna rice is also called Parimal rice locally.

This mildly flavoured rice comes from the Bihar region of the Ganges plains. It has a robust, long and narrow, opaque grain that keeps its shape well for curries. Basmati rice is closely related to the Patna rice but has a stronger aroma. Patna rice is the most esteemed in UK and USA and is the highest priced rice in the grocery stores.

The Mughal chronicler Abul Fazal who collected the various types of rice grown in the Gangetic belt has described the rice cultivated in Patna in glowing terms. William Fullarton of Skeldon UK made his fortune by dealing in Patna rice. He chose to name the hamlet of the coal mining workers he built in East Ayrshire, Scotland as Patna.

As at one time, most of the rice sold in Europe came from this region, Patna Rice is also sometimes loosely used to mean any long grain aromatic rice.

Another example of long-grain rice is American long-grain rice which include Carolina rice. It is believed that Patna rice was the first type of rice cultivated in America , and acquired the name Carolina rice. The seeds of Patna rice were taken to America, grown in Carolina and exported to Britain before the American civil war. Thus the term Carolina rice is also sometimes used to denote this variety of rice.

Monday, May 08, 2006