Hyderabad: Telangana Sona, the low glycemic index rice developed by Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), is finding its way to domestic and international markets.
The rice variety, also known as RNR 15048, is being positioned as a lifestyle product and is aimed at diabetics who seek to include rice in their diet.
Two companies- Deccanmudra and Befach 4X- are marketing them through retail outlets, e-commerce channels. Some exports too have happened of this rice. Initially, it was recommended for cultivation in Telangana. However, due to wider preference, the variety is being cultivated in many States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal.
Telangana Sona (RNR 15048) is a short duration, blast resistant rice variety suitable for both kharif and rabi seasons. It became popular on account of its unique grain size and shape (short slender) besides cooking quality. It has been classified under low glycemic index category with values of 51.5.
“We give farmers the seeds procured from PJTSAU. We ensure traceability and also get into buy-back arrangements with them. So far, we have tied up with about 400 farmers across Ibrahimpur, Janagaon, Matendla and Dubbaka. The focus is supporting the rural economy,” said Mithilesh Boyina, Director, Deccanmudra.
The Deccanmudra brand is available over 150 retail stores across Hyderabad, Vizag and Bengaluru. The rice is also listed on popular e-commerce channels like Flipkart and Amazon and health-focused platforms like Wellversed, Diabetes india store and switify. The company is also taking up community selling in the city. It also has plans for black rice and wood-pressed sunflower oil, he said.
“The rice is available in regular and organic varieties. There is a complete traceability of the organic produce,” he said adding that it is making efforts to export the low glycemic index rice shortly.
Industries Minister KT Rama Rao via the Twitter lauded the efforts being made to find new markets for the Telangana-grown rice.
Another player Befach has already exported some quantity of Telangana Sona to Kuwait under the brand Befach Diabetic White Rice. The company received USFDA registration and orders for exports from US, Duabi, Nepal, Philippines and Bangladesh. The order book is for about 1,000 tonne, said Rajesh Saraf, co-founder, Befach.
So far, about 450 tonne has been exported across markets. The retail sales have been about 1,100 tonne in the last 24 months. It sources from Nalgonda, Miryalaguda and other places and is expecting to work with about 500 farmers. “We are expanding offline market and are targeting sales of 80 tonne per month by December this year,” Saraf said.
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