Purple rice grains have created quite a stir among the farmers at Nalitabari upazila in Sherpur. Enthusiastic growers have been collecting the colourful seed grains ahead of the boro season, the cultivation season of rice starting in November-December and ending in March-April.
Farmers from various areas have been contacting with the agriculture officer Shahinur Alam who is also a farmer, for purchasing the seeds. The grains have been sent to different districts by courier.
Sarwar Alam from Nalitabari came across the purple rice at Monagram, Cumilla where he works as a private bank employee. He asked the grower, Monzoor Hossain, for the seeds and received five kilogram of that. He is now spreading the seeds in his own district.
Sarwar deposited the seeds to his local upazila agriculture officer Sharif Iqbal. Curious to see the results, Sharif then planted the seeds in Shahinur's five-acre land in the last boro season. Initially, many thought the venture was a failure as the leaves were a bit different, gray in colour resembling dead leaves. But, gradually those leaves turned deep purple and looked unique surrounded by other green rice fields.
Shahinur grossed 13 mounds of purple rice harvest finally after processing and drying from the plantation. This means 52 mounds rice grew per acre. Shahinur collected the yields at a later phase, when these turned into seeds. The successful farmer has already sold three mounds of rice from home at Tk 100 per kg.
"I didn't receive such harvest from a year-round farming that I received from this alone," Shahinur said.
Upazila agriculture officer, Sharif Iqbal said, "We hope, a widespread production of purple rice will be seen by the next season in Sherpur."