Name of Product: Purple Rice
Product Type: Staple food
MP Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country of origin: India
Name of the Mountain Area: Ri Bhoi Wastershed, Meghalaya
Altitude Range: Class 5: elevation 1 000-1 500 m and slope ≥5 or LER > 300 m
Narrative label: Purple rice is an indigenous crop cultivated by small-scale Indian Himalayan farmers as a ceremonial food. Traditionally called “Forbidden Rice”, legend tells us that this ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China. Local communities believe that planting purple rice around the house will protect their households. Characterized by its unique purple colour, this super food contains antioxidants and high levels of vitamins, minerals and fibres.

Purple rice is cultivated by tribal families through traditional farming systems and permaculture,without the use of chemical fertilizers. Its yield of production is lower than other rice varieties, threatening its survival.

This purple rice is farmed in the Indian Himalayas in the Ri Bhoi watershed, Meghalaya State at 1 200 – 1 800 metres above sea level.

Easy to cook, tasty and colourful, purple rice can also be used to make sweet puddings as it gets creamy when overcooked and combines well with dairy milk and coconut milk or cream.
Producer: Mahila Umang Producers Company
Contact person: Kaylan Paul; [email protected]
Labelled since: 10.04.2017
Label latest verification: 10.04.2017
Type of producer: Family farmer, Community, Producers organization, Other
Smallholder: yes
Size of company: > 50 people
Distribution channel: Local market
At risk of disappearing: Yes, it will disappear slowly unless market linkages are established as soon as possible.
Traditional product/production: Yes, it was traditionally called "Forbidden Rice" by the Chinese emperors. Farmers continue to cultivate very small fields of this variety, compared to the other varieties of rice, as production per unit of land is much less for purple rice.
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