Can This Bihar Farmer Grow The ‘World’s Costliest Vegetable’?

Amresh Singh is a 38-year-old farmer from Karamdih village under Navinagar block of Bihar’s Aurangabad district. He is among the pioneer in hop-shoot cultivation in India.
Amresh Singh
Outlook Web Bureau Feb 05, 2021

Once he was fighting the adversities in life, now this Bihar farmer is experimenting with a vegetable that costs over USD 1,000 per kg. Considered the world’s costliest vegetable, the produce has several beneficial uses.

Amresh Singh is a 38-year-old farmer from Karamdih village under Navinagar block of Bihar’s Aurangabad district. He is among the pioneer in hop-shoot cultivation in India.

"I planted the saplings about four months ago. I brought it from the Indian Vegetable Research Institute at Varanasi. If I am successful, it’ll benefit many farmers,” Singh claimed.

According to him, while the fruit called hop-cone is used in making beer, the stem is used for medicinal purposes like making antibiotics.

The plant is also used as herb. In Europe, it is used for keeping the skin gleaming and young since it is also a source for antioxidants.

“A farmer growing this vegetable can make as much as Rs. 50-60 lakh from each katha,” he stated.

Singh invested Rs. 2.5 lakh for a trial over about five katha of land where he said that he is growing hop-cone organically, without using chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Reports indicate the shoots have an acid called humulone and lupulone, believed to be effective in killing cancer cells.

It is also said to improve digestive system function, help those suffering from depression; acts as an analgesic and can even cure insomnia.

Singh said that in India, though hop-cone grew earlier in the cooler climes of Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh, his crop is growing well in Bihar too.

“My grandfather used to own about 200 bighas of land, but we faced some problems and I had no choice but to break my education midway and take up the family profession,” he explained.

He could not continue his studies after the intermediate or pre-college level due to family compulsions.

“I always like to think out of the box,” he said, adding that he specialises in medicinal and aromatic plants.


In This Article: Agri OutlookLivelihoods

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