Black rice, also known as ‘black paddy,’ grown in India could soon be onboard ships bound for Australia and New Zealand.
Being grown by a group of some 300 farmers in the Chandauli district, the black rice is said to have anti-diabetic qualities.
If exports to Australia and New Zealand prove successful, other countries will be added to the export list.
The Chandauli district is known as the rice bowl of eastern Uttar Pradesh as its soil and natural terrain are suited to paddy fields.
However, it was only last year that it was successfully cultivated in the district for the first time despite black rice being common in the north eastern and southern parts of India.
Black rice, in addition to its benefits for diabetes, is sought by those trying to lose weight.
It is also a rich source of iron and anti-oxidants, while its fibre content is a known natural detoxifier.
Deepak Agarwal, divisional commissioner of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, said plans for the shipments to NZ and Australia are already in the planning.
Mr Agarwal has urged more farmers to grow the black paddy as a means of earning more from their produce, with deals struck directly between the farmers and the exporters.
The region has also been exporting green chilly, vegetables and more recently Banarasi Langda mangoes to Dubai and the UK.