The Mircha rice variety from West Champaran district of Bihar has recently been granted the GI tag. The grains of this rice are similar in size and shape to black pepper, which is why it is called Mircha or Marcha rice. The rice has a distinct aroma, and its grains and flakes are known for their palatability. The rice is also famous for its ability to produce aromatic chura (rice flakes). When cooked, the rice is fluffy, non-sticky, and sweet with a pleasant aroma resembling that of popcorn. The application for the GI tag was submitted by the Marcha Dhan Utpadak Pragatisheel Samuh, a registered organization of paddy cultivators.
Other agriculture and horticulture products from Bihar that have received GI tags include Zardalu mango, Katarni rice of Bhagalpur, Shahi litchi of Muzaffarpur, Magahi paan of Magadh region, and Makhana of Mithila.
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About the Mircha or Marcha rice
- The GI tag has been awarded to the indigenous variety of paddy called Mircha Rice, which is produced exclusively in the West Champaran region of Bihar. This unique rice has a grain size and shape similar to black pepper, which is the reason behind its name. It is known for its distinct aroma, palatability, and the quality of rice flakes (chura) it produces.
- The application for the GI tag was submitted by the Marcha Dhan Utpadak Pragatisheel Samuh, a registered organization of paddy cultivators. The group is yet to receive the GI tag certificate formally, which is expected to be available in August. The rice is primarily grown in the Mainatand, Gaunaha, Narkatiaganj, Ramnagar, and Chanpatia blocks of West Champaran district, with an average yield of 20-25 quintals per hectare.
- The tall plants of this paddy are ready for harvest in 145-150 days. Out of the 18 blocks in West Champaran, this rice is cultivated in six blocks.
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