Dilip Kumar

Jagatsinghpur: Health experts often advise diabetics to exclude rice from their diet menu as much as possible because of high content of carbohydrates. But, a retired defence personnel in Jagatsinghpur district has come up with an alternative for people with intolerance to high-blood glucose level.

Sarat Mohapatra, a retired air force officer has grown a special variety of paddy, which has less amount of glucose and carbohydrate as compared to other varieties. He has cultivated the new variety on his 12 acres of land at his village Arekana under Raghunathpur block in the district.

Mohapatra had a childhood passion for farming with modern technology. During his service period, he had visited many farm areas in Punjab and Haryana where large quantities of such verities are grown, his wife said.

Mohapatra has installed a solar pumping point at his land for irrigation at a cost of Rs 3 lakh.  He said that he had spent Rs 15,000 per acre and will sell the rice for Rs 100 per kg.

“I left job in 1978 and started farming. Bishnu Behera, former PD of Jagatsinghpur insisted me to cultivate the new variety. I started cultivating the paddy on 12 acres of land. I spent Rs 15,000 per acre and expected a return of Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 per acre,” Mohapatra said.

Many traders have visited him to sign agreement for procurement of the new paddy. “But, I think I should process it on my own and sell it in open market,” he added.

The new variety of rice has brought a sigh of relief for the diabetic patients in the locality. “I am a blood sugar patient. I had never expected such a variety would come which would be beneficial for us. I wish Mohapatra Babu to grow more and more such variety. He is a multi-talented farmer,” a local said.

Researchers say this type of rice will help reducing glucose in blood in type-2 diabetic patients.

The variety is also farmer-friendly as it gives yield within a short span of time.