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Indian expatriate grows rice in the deserts of UAE

UAE: An expatriate Indian has embarked on a first-time challenge of cultivating rice in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sudhish Kumar (41) has been waiting for the harvest of the staple crop that he cultivated in the desert-like climate of UAE, different from the warm and damp climate necessary to its growth.

Kumar, a commerce graduate with no formal qualification in agriculture, said careful planning has helped him address the concerns.

“Rice has not been grown as a crop in the UAE and there have been several failed attempts in places like Al Ain. If and when my current crop harvests, it will be a first in the country,” he said.

Kumar hails from Thrissur in Kerala. Rice is normally grown as an annual crop, the cultivation of which is labour-intensive and requires ample water.

“I do everything by myself and that means spending three-four hours of my time everyday to make up for the required man hours. Just sowing about 1,300 seeds took me almost a day,” Kumar added.

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