Nagaland features in the Guinness Book of World Records for a variety of paddy which is eight-and-a-half feet tall with 1 kg. to 800-gram yield of paddy per plant. The giant variety of paddy has been discovered by Mr. Melhite Kenye, Pastor of Baptist Church at Chumukedima, Nagaland.
This small township is 14 km away from Dimapur, the business centre of Nagaland. One day when he was on his way to Kohima he suddenly saw a plant of sparkling golden colour. He nursed the plant in the courtyard of the Baptist Church and multiplied it. Mr. Kenye informed the authorities of the Guinness Book and their authorities recorded it as the highest paddy in the world in the Guinness Book on 1st October 1998.
The dried straws of the paddy have been collected and sent to the Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, a departmental training institute of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Sanganer, Jaipur (Rajasthan) to undertake research and necessary experiments on it to ascertain whether the paddy straw could be used as a raw material for manufacturing Handmade Paper by setting up clusters of Handmade paper units.
Further, the sample of rice has been sent to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Yashwantrao Chavan Open University, Nashik to undertake research whether such variety could be cultivated in Konkan belt of Maharashtra.
Rice has been an ancient and sacred grain in India. Its earliest reference is found in the Rig Veda, where it is referred to as “Annam”. In fact, rice is the synonym of food; it is Adi Annam – the original food of mankind. In Sanskrit, rice is called “Akshata” and depicts something which is indestructible. On each sacred occasion like marriage ceremony, various festivals, and worship, rice is used as a sacred grain and offered as a blessing. During the period of Gautam Buddha, rice had spread over from India to the neighbouring and Far East countries of Asia, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Japan and Korea along with the Buddhist religion. Rice is cultivated in almost all States of India but it is the staple food of the people of eastern, north-eastern and southern parts of the country. Over 65 % of the population of India are rice-eaters.
It is primarily due to the efforts of Mr. Melhite Kenye, that the state of Nagaland is depicted in the Guinness Book as having the tallest paddy in the world with a remarkable yield, something that the people of Nagaland can justly be proud of as having been instrumental in bringing credit to India as a whole.