Urban markets for organic food in India are expanding fast (Patnaik 1996). Because of the growing demand for organic food and the high premium it commands, farmers are encouraged to grow crops using nutrients from organic sources. Artur and Kjellenberg (1997) reported that protein quality in potato and wheat was better after the application of organic manure than after fertilizer application. This study investigated the influence of different organic manures on improving milling and cooking quality of rice.
A field experiment in a splitplot design was conducted using rice cv. Pusa Basmati in the lateritic belt of West Bengal, India, during the 1997-99 wet season (June-October). The main-plot treatment consisted of two levels of pest control-no pest control (NPC) and chemical pest control (CPC). Subplots had seven sources of nutrients: three commercial manures-processed city waste (PCW), vermicompost (VC), and oil cake pellets (OCP).
FYM (farmyard manure); FYM + MC (microbial culture); chemical fertilizer (CF) with NPK (80-60-50 kg ha-1); and UC (untreated control). Organic manures were applied basally on the recommended N equivalent basis, although P and K supplied by these manures differed, depending on their nutrient composition. The MC was applied along with FYM using a recommended dose of 15 kg ha-1. The measurements considered in assessing grain quality of rice were total milled rice and head rice recovery, while those for milled rice were protein content, amylose percent, and grain elongation and volume expansion upon cooking.