In a move that could provide a major boost to Pokkali rice, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra – Ernakulam has registered a trade mark for the cereal at Chennai Trade Mark registry under the brand name Jaiva Pokkali.

What is pokkali Pokkali is a unique saline-tolerant rice variety organically cultivated in the water-logged coastal regions of Alappuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts of Kerala.

The trade mark, presently the property of KVK, would be leased free of cost to farmer groups who are interested to market their pokkali products. However, such groups have to sign an agreement with KVK, said Shinoj Subramanian, Senior Scientist and Head, KVK.

The objective is to bring back the glory of this traditional naturally organic farming system by ensuring good remuneration to pokkali farmers. He said that an assured remuneration will surely attract more farmers to this mode of farming.

Earlier, Pokkali rice had received a geographical indication registration from the GI Registry Office, Chennai in 2008.

Acreage dips The area under pokkali has seen a decline over the years. From around 25,000 hectares 25 years ago, the acreage has now been reduced to around 1,000 hectares.

The decline in acreage is attributed to high labour costs, lack of suitable machinery available for farming due to heavy clay content, heavy reliance on manual labour, which is costly as well as climate dependent.

Marketing issues

The marketing of a quality produce in a common brand name could attract consumers’ confidence.

Production of pokkali is estimated to be around 500 tonnes per annum and the market is mainly dependent on local consumption.

As the marketing is in an unorganised manner, the pricing is in the range of ₹30/kg.

There is an enormous potential once the marketing starts in an organised manner way. Pokkali is synonymous with organic paddy.

KVK has also plans to form a Pokkali Farmer Producer company with funding from Nabard for widespread pokkali farming and marketing of rice, rice products and fish. Nabard has already sanctioned funds to KVK-Ernakulm for formation of the company.