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Gorgon nut or fox nut, commonly known as makhana, is an aquatic crop with large floating leaves, producing bright purple flowers. Botanically it is known as Euryale ferox and it belongs to family Nymphaeceae. Distribution of Makhana is limited to tropical and sub-tropical regions of South East and East Asia. However, it occurs in wild form in Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, China and Russia

Makhana is a high value commodity commercially cultivated only in Bihar and certain parts of eastern India. Besides this, it grows as a natural crop in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Tripura and Manipur. With abundance of many natural and man-made water bodies' rich in organic detritus; makhana grows profusely in the stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds, lakes and ditches in the northern parts of Bihar. Besides stagnant water bodies, it is also cultivated in paddy fields and low-lying areas.

Bihar accounts for more than 85 percent of the makhana produced in the country. Northern part of Bihar, constituting districts of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Saharsha, Katihar, Purnia, Supaul, Kishanganj and Araria, is agro climatically suitable for makhana cultivation.
As per the estimates of the National Research Center for Makhana, Darbhanga (ICAR), total area under makhana cultivation in India is estimated to be 15000 Ha. It yields 1,20,000 MT of makhana seeds, which after processing yields 40,000 MT of makhana 5 pop. The estimated value of the production at farmers end is Rs 250 Crore and it generates revenue of Rs 550 Crore at traders' level.

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