Rice Traders of HoshiarpurHistory is a favourite subject for many especially if it is related with impressive stories. With an attempt to throw a flash on the rice mills in the city of Hoshiarpur, the article actually delves into the establishment of rice trade in the state of Punjab. The most interesting part of learning this history is that it attenuates the concept of Punjab as the wheat producing state in the country.
With all established concepts about Hoshiarpur for its handicrafts, food and of course the fertile land around the city, the rice farming comprises a major portion of commerce. The farmers in this region are not heavily dependent of rainwater as the irrigation system through tube wells and canal is well established and reliable. This makes Punjab the fourth leading rice producing state in the country. Also the requirement of Basmati rice all around the country and for exporting as well is met in a big way from this region.
In the Hoshiarpur district rice is mainly grown next to the banks of Beas, in its marshy plains. The early rice shelling farmers found that these marshy plains were similar to the plains that were found in Bengal region, which is the leading state in producing rice. What actually made them start this trade was the large area that these marshes provided for healthy growth of paddy.
Due to Hoshiarpur’s proximity to hills the cool and humid climate is a boon for rice farmers. Several religious fairs are also famous here, especially during the harvesting season. It is mainly because of the rice cutting season that the atmosphere here changes to a fun, frolic and colourful one. These fairs attract a huge spread of people to Hoshiarpur. The Mukerian city in Hoshiarpur district was the first to start the trend of rice mills. Still about 32 mills operate from this city which exports rice to middle-east and Europe.
It is however will be wrong to assume that all the rice that is exported from this city is grown here. When it comes to the quantity of processed rice being supplied from Hoshiarpur, many other factors add to its accomplishments. The paddy produce from not only Punjab but Himachal Pradesh is also brought here for further processing. There area has a large number of rice shelling factories (rice mills) operating in this region. These factories mostly owned by private sector are run and operated by the local workmen. It is the captivating workmanship in these factories that attract further business to Hoshiarpur in this way. There is excellent workmanship available here not only for running the machinery but also for the repairs and installation of new equipment.
For a change of experience a tourist must take a tour of the rice mills in Hoshiarpur. Although the Rice milling helps removal of Bran from the paddy, which is the raw product, there are many additional by products which are also produced in Hoshiarpur. The final desired product is for sure the polished rice but the waste is also widely used for making oils, cattle feed, rice flour, manure etc. The polishers set up in mills make the brown rice into white and easier-to-digest rice which is available in the market.
The leftover brown powder is an excellent source of oil which is also extensively manufactured in this city. The left over husk is used as manure and the mixed particles in the husk also serve as cattle feed for cow, buffaloes and horses. The interesting fact about buying entire paddy is that it is used in one way or the other.
Hoshiarpur also has a very good industrial setup for the maintenance of these mills and development of state of the art machinery to keep up with the modern times. The markets here provide the latest polishers, graders, pre cleaners, color sorters, air compressors, steamers, grain elevators, electrical infrastructure, paddy spreaders, De-stoner, whiteners, and other current accessories which in a way are only boosting this flourishing business in the district. The small time mills also have an option of buying second hand machinery and repairing existing machinery by the well established workshops in the main market.
Hoshiarpur provides steamed rice as the final product to packaging dealers all around the country. Some of the Chandigarh and Jammu based Basmati brands are very famous and get all their rice supplies from Hoshiarpur. The added benefit to the Hoshiarpur district as a whole is that a large number of personnel get employed due to the trade.
Commenced with the interest of growing rice in the fertile marshes in Punjab, the trade became one of the most contributing business for Hoshiarpur in recent years.