Eit Hati is of type of rice that has long been found in the Khasi Hills of northeastern India, and used for decades by the local community. The name of this particular rice originated from a story long ago. It so happens that a greedy elephant came to the paddy field near the village and ate the entire paddy in the field and then left. On the way, the elephant made a mess by leaving its fecal matter around the place. It is through one seed that was found in the fecal matter that led to the growth of this rice variety. This is why the name Eit Hati was given to the variety; eit translates into “manure,” and the word hati means “elephant.”
The stalk of this rice is similar like the other rice varieties, but it is a bit soft and weak. It is high yielding and can produce many grains from one root. All the rice is cultivated in the months of May and June and harvested in the month of November. The grains are smooth and smaller and a bit rounder compared to other rice grains. Grains are reddish brown or white in color. Like any other variety of rice it is usually consumed as a staple in the local meals. While it was once found widely distributed among the Khasi Jaintia Hills, today it is only found in a few villages in parts of Meghalaya, and is mainly grown for personal consumption. Recently, it has nearly disappeared from the markets. Many growers have ceased growing this variety for commercial sale in order to grow other rice varieties that fetch higher prices at the market, in order to pay their landlords.