The pokkali rice, the traditional salt resistant variety, cultivated in the coastal regions of Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts, has received Geographical Indication registration from the Geographical Indications Registry Office, Chennai. With the G.I. registration, the pokkali farmers will get exclusive right to cultivate and market it in the brand name of ‘Pokkali’.
- The registration will prevent others from using the brand name and enhance the market value of ‘Pokkali’ brand rice, according to the Kerala Agricultural University sources.
- It was rated among the best in terms of fibre and protein content, antioxidants with benefits of vitamin E, and minerals such as iron, boron and sulphur.
- It had the lowest carbohydrate content (along with Gandhakasala) making it most suitable for persons with diabetes or those advised low-sugar diet.
- Pokkali farmers use traditional symbiotic method for farming. The paddy is cultivated in the pokkali tracts during the low saline phase. Since it is cultivated organically, pokkali rice has a high market value.
- Many medicinal properties are also attributed to this rice. Pokkali rice is globally well-known for its salt-resistant genes.
Even a DNA library has been developed by the University of Arizona, USA, for the rice.