Panaji: Goa's tribal farmers may be able to double their profits from rice cultivation by doing away with the traditional way of paddy processing, with the help of India's premier agriculture research institute.
    
Indian Council for Agricultural Research's (ICAR) Goa has sought funds from its Delhi headquarters to install a rice mill at Canacona Taluka in South Goa, where 60 per cent of the local population is tribal.
    
"The rice mill will spare us from boiling the paddy before being taken to rice hullers that removes the chaff (the outer husks) of rice grains," Dhillion Velip, a local said.
    
Velip said the farmers had to go through rigmarole before the rice was carried to the hullers."If rice mill becomes a reality, then the paddy can be directly processed to get rice grains," he said.
    
The farmers currently fetch a price of Rs 17 per kg of rice, but they can earn around Rs 35 per kg once rice mill is installed, Velip explained.
    
“ICAR's proposed mill, costing Rs 16 lakh, can process 50 kg of rice per hour. The project will benefit around 500 farmers in this tribal belt,”  ICAR scientist Dr M Karunakaran said.
    
ICAR's initiative is a part of their tribal sub-plan, which includes helping the tribal farmers in various agricultural and dairy practices. The rice mill would be run by tribal people. The tribals will have to form a self-help group or cooperative society, before owning the mill.

(Agencies)

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