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Yusuf Molla, the keeper of forgotten and extinct species of rice in the remote village of Bangladesh

He is not doing this with just as hobby, but he is preserving the species of rice with love and passion. This struggle has been continuing for last 30 years. He has been preserving 60 species of rice by cultivating all species of rice in small plots. All such species are extinct from Barind tract. What happens if the people of new generation forgets all about, Yousuf Molla, a poor farmer of a remote village of Barind tract has kept alive the tradition. Most of the species of this rice are tolerant from drought and disease. The use of chemical fertilizer and insecticides in cultivating this species are very little. The taste and the smell have distinct characteristics as well.

In the meantime, another species, Radhuni pagol (can be read as Craze for Cook) attracts the eyes of farmers of other region. And they have started cultivating this rice after collecting seed from him. The sweet smell of this rice does not make the cook crazy but also the person in the surrounding enchanted with the smell. The taste is not only sweet, but also tasty.

This legendary man, Yusuf, resides in Duboil village, about 8 KM. far from Mondumala municipality of Tonor upazila (Sub-district) of Rajshahi, northern district of Bangladesh. He did not able to study more than 8th grade, though, he has been doing a great work for years which is supposed to do by the GOVT.

He has 60 distinct species of rice in his procession that includes Radhuni Pagol (রাঁধুনি পাগল), ModhuMadhob (মধুমাধব), Chini Shankar (চিনিশংকর), DadKhani (দাদখানি), RoghuShile (রঘুশাইল), JhingaShile (ঝিঙাশাইল), SonaShile (সোনাশাইল), IndraShile (ইন্দ্রশাইল), LotaShile (লতাশাইল), Mubi Malseram (মুগি মালসেরা), Soni Ayush (শনি আউশ), Hida (হিদা), Nil Kantha (নীলকণ্ঠ), Kai Larai (কাইলারাই), Jota BashFul (জটা বাঁশফুল), Digha (দিঘা), KalShoni Elai (কালশনি এলাই), Topa Boro (টোপা বোরো), Sona Kathi (সোনাকাঠি), Khoil Jhuri (খৈলঝুড়ি), Kali Vajra (কালিভাজরা), GongoShuli (গঙ্গশুলি), Sathiya (সাথিয়া), Vojna (ভোজনা), Kakuri (কাকুরি), MulaShile (মুলাশাইল), Orissa (উরিষ্যা), KaliKhuji (কালিখুজি), Basmoti (বাসমতি). Not only these, he is having 25-30 years old rice kept in earthen vessel (matir hari) with extensive care. In his effort he got an organization in his initiative. This is Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK) which is working to scatter drought tolerant various species like Radhuni Pagol collected from Yusuf Molla in Barind tract. The rice under the procession of Mr. Yusuf has the following characteristics-

Sl Species Characteristics
1 Radhuni Pagol, ModhuMadhob,  Chini Shankar, DadKhani Sleek, Sweet smelled, tasty as well
2 Soni Ayush The Panta* of this rice in Vadro* month is very sweet.  There is a saying that there won’t be any ulcer if rice of Soni Ayush and  Vorta* of Tuber are eaten with Ghee together
3 Digha This can live in excess water, rice is red colored, Rice taste sweet and viscous
4 Hida Rice is pulpy and this can produce good beaten rice
5 Nil Kantha This rice produces good puffed rice

Yusuf Molla

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