The first plant, Melhit Keney, grew, reached 2.49 meters in height in 1989. He then communicated with the agriculture department of Nagaland to further develop the seed of the tallest variety of rice.
Kohima: The paddy man of Nagaland is no more. The Guinness World Record holder for discovering the world's tallest paddy plant in 1988, Melhit Kenny, passed away on Tuesday (February 22) in Chumoukedima in Nagaland. He was also known as the Paddy Man of Nagaland. Kenny celebrated his 100th birthday on January 6 this year. He discovered a 2.55 m (8.5 ft) tall rice plant in the Chumukedi area of Nagaland in October 1988.
Kenny's close relatives said he found an unusually tall rice plant during a trip to the forest but was not sure whether it was rice. But he soon put up a fence to protect the plant from wild animals and cut it down. The first plant he grew reached 2.49 meters in height in 1989. He then communicated with the agriculture department of Nagaland to further develop the seed of the tallest variety of rice.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condoled his death, saying Kenny was a well-known and eminent personality of Nagaland. He was awarded the Governor's Gold Medal in 2002 for his discovery of the world's tallest paddy plant in 1988. Kenny was born in 1922 in Chizami Village of Phek District. He married Kvetso-u Lasuh.
In a message, Rio wrote, "I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Mr. Melhite Kenye at Chümoukedima, Heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Melhite Kenye. May the departed soul rest in peace."