Mushk Budji - An Indigenous Aromatic Rice From Kashmir - Seeker's Thoughts

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Mushk Budji - An Indigenous Aromatic Rice From Kashmir

 Mushk Budji, once produced only in South Kashmir's Sagam village, is currently experiencing a revival thanks to rising demand. Farmers across Kashmir have taken up growing this expensive aromatic variety on their land due to increased consumer interest.

 Mushk Budji

By virtue of their positive reception, SKUAST and the agriculture department are working hard to expand cultivation in niche belts across the valley and promote it internationally.

What is Mushk Budji?

Mushk Budji is a short bold aromatic rice variety with an exquisite combination of taste, aroma and organoleptic properties. Originating in Kashmir's higher regions and typically consumed on special occasions like weddings and festivals.

Recent trends suggest that scented cultivars were in jeopardy of being eradicated due to blast disease and its risk. Additional factors, including uneven yield, insufficient seed quality and strain mixing with high yielding paddy varieties had contributed to an ever diminishing acreage under its cultivation.

SKUAST-K has initiated a program to revitalize and spread this crop throughout the state, in an attempt to encourage its cultivation. They have identified niche areas where this variety thrives in terms of both quantity and quality production.


Mushk Budji rice cultivation is concentrated largely within Anantnag district's villages where its climate allows it to flourish. A short bold aromatic variety with exquisite taste, aroma and extensive organoleptic properties.

Experts from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) reported that an indigenous variety of aromatic paddy was threatened with extinction due to its susceptibility to rice blast disease and poor yield potential, according to experts there.

SKUAST-Kashmir began the Mushk Budji revival program in 2007. This university collected all strains and subjected them to refinement programs where different tests were carried out on them. Furthermore, SKUAST-Kashmir provided on-farm sale/lifting assistance via private traders so farmers can receive timely remuneration thereby maintaining quality seed production.


Kashmiris can't have their feast without eating some form of mutton. From its legs to its brains, a typical Kashmiri consumes as much mutton as they possibly can every week.

But several decades ago, indigenous landrace was on the brink of extinction as exotic varieties that produced higher yields took over farmers' fields.

Scent-emitting cultivars thrive and perform exceptionally in niche areas that allow their fragrance to thrive; however, expanding the area under these landraces in Kashmir could result in quality degradation or even their extermination.

To revive cultivation of Mushk Budji, the university has organized multiple awareness sessions for farmers to train them on how to cultivate this unique variety of rice. Furthermore, seed, pesticides, and fungicides were provided at subsidised rates.


Scented rice has become the focus of an increasingly vibrant cottage industry in Sagam and surrounding villages of Kokernag in Anantnag district. Farmers can receive premiums of up to Rs 200 per kilogram for Mushk Budji-branded varieties of Mushk Budji rice.

Short, bold aromatic rice has an unparalleled combination of taste, aroma, and organoleptic properties that makes it popular in higher regions of Kashmir valley and consumed as part of special celebrations.

The agriculture department has initiated an all-encompassing program for the conservation, promotion, and genetic enhancement of niche crops like Mushk Budji. Market entrepreneurs and millers were invited to create an effective market facility that could facilitate the sale of branded Mushk Budji products at competitive rates to protect farmers while encouraging healthy competition between suppliers and buyers.


Mushk Budji varieties with unique aroma traits possessing brand value that sets them apart from others, which make Mushk Budji more desirable to farmers willing to pay premium prices for it.

Agriculture department officials in Kashmir valley are actively expanding cultivation to other parts where climate conditions are suitable. "Compared to apples which require costly expenditure in terms of labour costs, pesticide spraying, transportation costs and transport insurance costs - maintenance requirements of a Mushk Budji orchard are much lower," according to Tariq Ahmed Sheikh (55).

"One quintal of Mushk Budji can fetch Rs 20,000 and demand is rising each day" --Pushpinder Singh of 101Reporters, 2019. All rights are reserved by 101Reporters. Posted August 23rd 2018 by 101Reporters this entry was posted in agriculture, Food, Lifestyle and tagged Kashmir, Mushk Budji scented rice Bookmark the permalink.

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