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Get exotic veg closer home

Ranchiites with a palate for exotic vegetables have a reason to celebrate, thanks to Jharkhand State Horticulture Mission’s plan to come up with a special farm on a 1,000sqft plot in Bero, 40km from the capital.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the mission’s director Prabhakar Singh said currently residents purchased exotic vegetables, which are exported from Delhi in winter, at high prices.

Among the exotic varieties that will be available once the farm is set up are asparagus, basal sprout, chinese cabbage, mini broccoli, red cabbage, baby corn, lettuce, parsley, mini cucumber and mini capsicum.

“Once we start growing them locally, these vegetables will be available at cheaper rates. The move will also benefit farmers, once they learn to grow such varieties,” said Singh, adding that the farm was expected to be ready by March.

He added that they were planning to start the farm on public-private partnership (PPP) mode so that local farmers could first be trained to grow the exotic veggies,” said Singh, adding that once the farm is ready, they would hire an agency to run it.

“An agency will be appointed to demonstrate the method of growing these varieties to Bero farmers. These high value crops will fetch them good money,” he said.

Currently, citizens purchase red and yellow capsicum for Rs 60 apiece, while broccoli is available at Rs 150 per kg. “We are planning to make broccoli available at Rs 70-Rs 80 per kg and capsicum at Rs 40 apiece. Then, these exotic veggies will be affordable for all,” Singh added.

Notably, the under construction farm at Bero is being developed as a poly house to grow the exotic varieties.

“This poly house will have a transparent structure inside which veggies will grow under controlled environmental conditions,” said Singh.

The director of the horticulture mission further pointed out that since the high-value varieties would be grown in controlled conditions, they won’t be vulnerable to temperature fluctuations or pest attacks.

Effects of fluctuating carbon dioxide levels, relative humidity and lack of plant nutrients will be neutralised.