Commentary

Test :: Seeding the future

By himalsouthasian

7 April 2001

Not far down the list was entry number eight – sathi – the coarse rice native to Kachorwa village in Bara District along Nepal’s southern border. Locals said they couldn’t do without it.

Not far down the list was entry number eight – sathi –  the coarse rice native to Kachorwa village in Bara District along Nepal’s southern border. Locals said they couldn’t do without it. Leaves envelope the panicles that host its dark black grains, which means that instead of the golden droplets typically seen drooping and swaying on fields of mature rice, one would find thin strips of straw protecting each jewel from pecking birds. Drought- and pest- resistant, sathi is ideal for upland plains, can be harvested within a brief sixty days, and makes for an especially tasty rice pudding. Every farmer in the area either grows it, or barters to acquire it, in time to offer to goddess Chhati Maiya at the annual Chhat celebrations dedicated to the Hindu sun god, and celebrated across the Tarai plains of Nepal and many parts of India in late October.   Sathi is one of 88 varieties of local rice listed in the large, red registry of seeds stored in Kachorwa’s community seed bank (CSB). The number has multiplied since the bank’s moderate beginnings, which started with a dozen rice varieties. Each seed has a distinct characteristic related either to taste, aroma, adaptation, processing or some special quirk

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