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Black Rice Experiment Goes Wrong for Bihar Farmers

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Farmers in Bihar hoped to strike gold with black rice, a nutritious and potentially profitable crop. However, their attempts have been met with disappointment due to several factors.

Here’s the story:

  • Inspired by Assam’s success with black rice, some Bihar farmers started growing it a few years ago.
  • They faced challenges: applying the wrong fertilizer and difficulty finding buyers due to lack of market awareness.
  • Despite lower yields compared to regular rice, the dream of high prices lured more farmers to try black rice.
  • Unfortunately, the reality was different. They ended up selling their harvest for much lower than expected.

Why did it fail?

  • Lack of government support: Unlike Assam, which actively helped farmers with black rice cultivation and marketing, Bihar offered no such assistance.
  • Knowledge gap: Farmers lacked proper training on growing black rice, leading to mistakes like using the wrong fertilizer.
  • Market disconnect: Consumers in Bihar weren’t familiar with black rice, leading to low demand.

A glimmer of hope:

  • Dr. Neelanjaya from a local agricultural university is willing to provide seeds to farmers if the government shows initiative.
  • Black rice has immense potential due to its nutritional value and unique taste.

Lessons learned:

Bihar’s black rice experiment highlights the importance of government support, farmer education, and market development for the success of new crops.

The story also mentions Assam’s contrasting success:

  • Upendra Rabha, a pioneering farmer in Assam, received government backing and helped establish a black rice production network.
  • Today, Assam enjoys a thriving black rice industry with exports and a strong domestic market.

Bihar can learn from Assam’s approach to create a win-win situation for farmers and consumers. Read More: https://bit.ly/3xnufKN

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