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At ₹1 Lakh/Kg, this Bihar farmer is growing world’s costliest vegetable
Taking an enormous risk, Amresh invested Rs. 2.5 lakh to grow hop shoots, a crop that is rarely seen in the Indian market.
A farmer from Bihar’s Aurangabad district has taken social media by storm by cultivating a a unique vegetable that costs about Rs 1 lakh! Touted as the world’s costliest vegetable, the cultivation of ‘hop-shoots’ has started on a trial basis and more than more than 60 per cent of its cultivation has already happened successfully. According to the New Indian Express, the farmer identified as Amresh Singh–an intermediate-pass from Hazaribagh’s St. Columbus College–is the first person to start hop-shoots cultivation on 5 kathas of land, without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Taking an enormous risk, Amresh invested Rs. 2.5 lakh to grow hop shoots, a crop that is rarely seen in the Indian market.
Further, he also said that if PM Modi makes a special arrangement for the promotion of cultivation of ‘hop-shoots’, it will make the farmers earn 10 times more than they can do by other means of agriculture within a couple of years.
The news gained attention after senior bureaucrat Supriya Sahu shared the story of Amresh, and called the development ‘a game changer for Indian farmers.’ In a tweet that has gone viral, Sahu wrote, ”One kilogram of this vegetable costs about Rs 1 lakh ! World’s costliest vegetable,’hop-shoots’ is being cultivated by Amresh Singh an enterprising farmer from Bihar, the first one in India. Can be a game changer for Indian farmers.”
At present, Agricultural scientist Dr Lal of the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi has been supervising the cultivation of hop-shoots. Usually grown in America & Europe, the crop was first cultivated in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul, but the high cost impacted the marketing.
While you might be wondering why a vegetable is so expensive, it’s all because of the high cultivation and harvesting costs. Additionally, it takes three years for it to come to fruition. More so, the tiny green tips of the hop plant have to be harvested individually and by hand, which involves a lot of hard work and determination.
According to a Guardian report, ”they cost so much because they’re absolutely back-breaking to harvest. They don’t grow in a uniform row, so each one you pick requires you to hunch over and really hunt around. Plus they’re tiny so you need to pick hundreds to fill a carrier bag.”
What are hop-shoots used for?
Singh said that the fruit and stem of hop-shoots are used in beverage making, beer making and for medical purposes such as in preparing antibiotics. The medicine prepared from the stem of hop-shoots is said to have a high curative effect in the treatment of Tuberculosis (TB).
The New Indian Express quoted him saying, “Its flower is called hop-cones or strobile, which is used as a stability agent in the making of beer. The rest of the twigs are used for food and medicine purposes. In the farming sector, taking a risk with self-confidence ultimately helps the farmer to win. I have taken the risk for experimenting with the cultivation of hop-shoot in Bihar and hope, it will set a benchmark.”