Manipur Black Rice popularly known as Chakhao in local language ,has recently bagged Geographical
Indication (GI) tag. Black rice is a type of rice of the species commonly known as oryza sativa L.
indica. It is also known as purple rice as some of which are glutinous rice. Black rice is referred as
chakhao in Manipur, an Indian state on the North-East region. Black Rice is commonly used in
Manipur to prepare desserts and serve at major feasts. Black rice is rich in vital ingredients like iron,
vitamin E, fiber and antioxidants. The bran hull which is the outermost layer of black rice contains
one of the highest levels of anthocyanins found in food.

It has a deep black colour and after it is cooked, it usually turns purple. Its dark purple colour is due
to its anthocyanin content. It is commonly used to make porridge, dessert, traditional Chinese black
rice cake, bread, and noodles.

History: According to official sources, Manipur black rice, often referred to as “Chakhao” by the locals, has earned the Geographical Indication (GI) designation. The news of Chakhao being registered under the name “Manipur black rice” on their official website was also validated by the Geographical Indications Registry website.

Health Benefits:

The major health benefits of black rice are as follows:-
i) High Contents of Antioxidant: –

Antioxidants are immunity boosters which helps the
body to fight against various ailments and infections in a better way. It also help discard
toxins from body.

ii) Role of Anthocyanins: –

The Anthocyanins is very helpful to reduce chances of heart attack. It plays a vital role to prevent plaque buildup in artery walls. They are also helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in our body.

iii) Fight against various diseases: –

Studies have revealed that having black rice can prevent Alzheimer’s disease plus it aids in preventing and curing from certain types of cancer.

iv) It helps to prevent and manage various ailments such as atherosclerosis, diabetes,
hypertension, arthritis, allergies and aging signs.

Legal Aspect:

GI is defined under Article 22.1 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a
region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the
good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin”. Generally GI is recognized in the country
of origin and particularly the area where the GI tag referred to is located. The registered proprietors
or authorized users of GI tag can be an association of persons or statutory authorities. The
authorized users can prevent anyone from using the GI tag on products that do not originate from
that particular location. This helps GI to ensure comprehensive and effective protection to the goods
which has got tag.

The Geographical Indications (GI) of Goods (Regulation and Protection) Act was passed in the 1999
helps to facilitate registration and protection of intellectual property with respect to goods. In this
particular Act GI, defined under Section 1(e) as, “Geographical Indication in relation to goods, means
an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating or manufactured in the territory of a country or a region or locality in that
territory, where a given quality reputation or other characteristic of such good is essentially
attributed to its geographical origin and in case where such goods are manufactured goods, one of
the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes
place in such territory, region on locality as the case may be”.

When Granted:

Manipur black rice also known as Chak-Hao in local language has recently got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The application for Chakhao was filed by the Consortium of Producers of Chakhao (Black Rice), Manipur in the year 2017. It was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture,
Government of Manipur and the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited.
The registration process including documentation by the team members of the state agriculture
department took more than a year to complete the entire task. The GI status is an indicator of the
goods as produced from a particular area which has special quality which is indigenous to its
geographical origin. GI goods have a great potential to play a major role in trade and there is a
possibility of preserving many traditional skills.


The uniqueness of the black rice of Manipur is that the pleasant aroma coupled with stickiness which is unique nature and is not present in other black rice varieties cultivated in other parts of the world.

Uses and Processing Opportunities:

Following are uses and processing opportunities of black rice
i) Chak-Hao is generally consumed after being cooked as rice or kheer. Apart from that it can also be used to prepare powder, suji (flour), syrup, chocolate, beer, wine, cake, bread, flattened rice, paratha, Chengpaks (flattened rice or poha), Kaboks (puffed rice), ladoo and various other sweetened food products.
ii) It is used to prepare cosmetic items.
iii) Some of the nutraceutical compounds present in black rice which can be extracted economically are tocotrienols, gamma amini butyric acid, oryzanol, rice bran saccharine,
lutein, zeaxanthin, butylate hydroanisole, phytosterol, etc.
iv) It is being used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine.

Status of Organic Certification:

2000 hectares of land which cultivated Chak-Hao has been fully certified under standards laid down and administered in India by APEDA i.e. National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) under MOVCDNER Phase-I and another 1000 hectares of area has obtained first year scope certificate under MOVCDNER Phase – II. Two varieties of black rice are grown in Manipur Chak-Hao ‘Amubi’ and Chak-Hao ‘Poireiton’ which are quite popular in the state and are being cultivated organically.

Revenue Prospect:

Presently the economic value of Black Rice is low as the demand for Chak-Hao is very much limited and largely it is not consumed by people as a staple grain. Chak-Hao is yet to find a place in
departmental stores of Manipur and its market is limited. Thus cultivation does not take place in
large scale. It is generally sold at ₹100-120 a kilogram on an average in the Imphal market. There is a
possibility to increase the demand for Chak-Hao within the state by including it in different food
preparations. It is important to channelize Chak-Hao to the markets where there is great demand.
Chak-Hao has a great export potential. Government of India is looking to make an action plan in
order to promote black rice. Since numerous health benefits are associated with the whole grain
black rice, it has a good market potential in the international market. Currently available at high-end
restaurants there is a rising demand for black rice.

In villages of Manipur the cost one kilogram of black rice cost about Rs.50.00 whereas in
Khwairamband market of Imphal it costs about Rs.90.00. In e-commerce platforms like,
black rice is sold at variety of prices ranging from Rs. 300 to 500 per kilogram and Indiamart sells
black rice at a price of around Rs. 240.00 per kilogram. So clearly it can be seen that farmers of
Manipur can earn more by cultivating Chak-Hao if there is reliable tie-up.
Moreover, there is a proper need for arrangements of contract farming, appropriate storage
facilities, processing, packaging, transportation, and an agreement between buyers and sellers.
Manipur Organic Mission Agency(MOMA) under the State Government and funding from Ministry of
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India has been able to promote cultivation of
organic Chak-Hao among farmers . MOMA has decided to cover 7500 hectares of land under Chak-
Hao cultivation in Khariff, 2018. It has also invited proposals for financial assistance to set-up
processing and packaging plants for black rice so that entrepreneurs can use the facility that is
extended by the Government.

Recently, an online auction of black rice has been started to facilitate sale of Chak-Hao. Presently,
farmers get about Rs.30.00 per kilogram of hybrid/high yielding rice, which they normally grow for
higher yield. If the farmers get about Rs.150-200 per kilo, their earnings will multiply.
Higher income of farmers from Chak-Hao cultivation will lead to reduction of poverty and better
socio-economic conditions of Manipur’s farmers. In order to get more yields by cultivating Chak-Hao,
reaping the benefits of higher returns from agriculture and to bring prosperity among Chak-Hao
farmers, they should work with MOMA in Horticulture Department of Manipur Government. Initial
difficulties should require to be addressed to encourage more farmers cultivate black rice.


GI is an important tool to protect the Intellectual Property rights associated with agricultural
products and foodstuffs originating in specific geographical locations. Recently there are
considerable efforts made by various institutions and agencies in India that ensures legal protection
for Indian products which got GI tag. Moreover, sufficient promotional strategies are necessary to
popularise GI tagged products and to derive benefits from its commercial potential. The unique
cultural aspects associated with GI for rural communities needs to get highlighted. GI tagging of
foodstuffs should be restricted to those foodstuffs which are historically produced only in a specific
region and are not the same when produced elsewhere. Besides, generic recipes for food stuffs
should not be granted GI tags as they can be replicated anywhere in the world.

Black rice is becoming popular in developed countries like USA, Europe and Australia. There is an
urgent need to develop a reliable supply chain coupled with necessary technology meant for
processing, storage and understanding of formalities for export. Currently India is the largest
exporter of rice in the world. By ensuring proper supply of the products where there is demand will
lead to boost the confidence of the farmers and encourage them to grow more Chak-Hao. Being
poor, the farmers cannot take any risk so it is the duty of the Government or entrepreneurs help
them resolve the risks as much as possible. Once Farmers are sure of good returns from growing
Chak-hao, it will encourage farmers to cultivate more Chak-Hao.

Sources: Following are the sources: 23%284-5%29%20159-

BLACK AROMATIC RICE (CHAK – HAO),that%20territory%2C%20where%20a%20given

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