Tech to standardise quality control of aromatic rice & pulses
To make determination of the quality of aromatic rice and pulse varieties the West Bengal Government buys from farmers to be sold at the fair-price Bangla outlets across the state standardised and hence, foolproof, the Agricultural Marketing Department has decided to take the help of technology.
E-nose technology would be introduced at the government's state-of-the-art quality control laboratory in Singur to ensure the quality of aromatic rice varieties. As an official of the department explained, different varieties of aromatic rice have different aromas for example, Kalo Nunia has a mild smell while Gobindobhog is known for its strong smell. What was done till now by humans would, to ensure uniformity, soon be taken over by technology. Another technology named Pulse View will be introduced at the Singur laboratory for assessing the quality of pulse.
According to the Agriculture Department official, vegetables, rice and pulses will all be tested in the laboratory before being sent to the Sufal Bangla outlets in the city. The aim is to ensure that only the best products are sold at these State Government outlets. In this connection, it needs to be mentioned that recently the number of Sufal Bangla outlets were increased 22 mobile stalls were set up, adding to the existing 16 permanent and 29 mobile stalls.
The State Agriculture Department is encouraging farmers to cultivate forgotten varieties of aromatic rice like Radha Tilak, Kala Bhat, Dudheshwar, Hamai, Jhumpuri, Khara and Balam, to name a few, with technical support from the government's agricultural training centre in Phulia in Nadia district, and is chalking out plans to create a market for them. Natural methods are being encouraged to be used to grow these varieties as the use of chemicals to enhance production will, in the long run, badly affect the environment, including the quality of the soil.