Palampur: Red Rice farmers of the Rohru have been selected for a prestigious Plant Genome Savior Award.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh, citation and memento. The award will be given to the red rice farmers society on 11 November by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Plant Genome Savior Award is India’s highest award for the farmers in recognition of their contribution to conserving and developing plant varieties.

Red rice is under cultivation in an area of about 1,000 hectares in different villages like Peja, Masli, Jangla, Daboli, Kaloti of Chhohara valley in Rohru subdivision in Shimla district. It’s cultivated on both sides of the Pabbar river adapted to cultivation from 1,300 meters to 2,100 meters and is categorized under Japonica red rice.

Chhohartu has a red pericarp (outer layer) and it fetches premium price in the market and has set an excellent example of vocal for locals.

Prof H.K Chaudhary, Vice-Chancellor, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, stated that the university scientists helped the red rice-growing farmers to register traditional red rice variety Chhohartu with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority (PPVFRA), Govt. of India.

As per the University statement, scientists of the University have helped the farmers to improve the variety of Red Rice and its conservation, development and its popularization.