Broccoli: The mineral-rich vegetable getting popular
The exotic and mineral-rich vegetable of broccoli is slowly gaining traction with the farmers in Uttar Pradesh. According to the Lucknow-based Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture, about 30,000 broccoli seedlings have been provided to farmers, who are interested in cultivating it due to prevailing higher market prices.
The exotic and mineral-rich vegetable of broccoli is slowly gaining traction with the farmers in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
The incremental growth in consumer demand for exotic and nutritious vegetable varieties is translating into the cultivation of newer horticultural crops, including broccoli.
According to the Lucknow-based Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH), about 30,000 broccoli seedlings have been provided to farmers, who are interested in cultivating it due to prevailing higher market prices.
“Due to its nutritional value and high concentration of bioactive compounds, this exotic vegetable (broccoli) is in high demand in Lucknow,” CISH director Shailendra Rajan said here.
He said broccoli was becoming common in villages. Farmers are not getting good returns from traditional crops like cauliflower and cabbage during peak season, but they get a better return with broccoli from the same piece of land.
“The urban people are becoming interested in cooking a variety of dishes using exotic vegetables. This spurs market demand, and farmers are able to sell their produce in the wholesale market,” he added.
Meanwhile, approximately 250,000 winter vegetable seedlings are being distributed to resource-poor farmers to empower them in achieving nutritional security. CISH is a specialty lab of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
During the winter season, seedlings are made available to farmers so that they not only grow but also understand the importance of nutri-gardens, and cultivate their own vegetables, Rajan noted.
Based on the 2020 experience, these farmers are expected to produce vegetables worth Rs 30 lakh in the current season. “They sell their extra produce in the rural market, which provides them with a steady source of income,” he informed.
While providing inputs like grafted plants and plantlets to farmers as part of the ‘Amrit Bharat Mahotsav’ programme, ICAR creates awareness regarding food and nutrition as well in the local farming community.
Rajan underlined that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is essential for general wellbeing. Fruits like mango and guava are rich sources of bioactive substances like flavonoids, polyphenolic acids and vitamins, which lower the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
“For farmers in resource-poor villages, ICAR-CISH is making every effort to supply high-quality planting materials for various fruit and vegetable crops as well as assist them in implementing best management practices for higher yields, better product quality and higher profits,” Rajan added.