Okra (also known as ladyfinger) is one of the popular vegetables for foodies. Known as a rich source of antioxidants, and vitamins A and C, the humble bhindi is on the menu of almost every restaurant in the country.
But now, a farmer in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal has given a twist to the green vegetable. Misrilal Rajput is growing red okra in his garden, and claims it is healthier than the existing natural variety.
“The ladyfinger that I grow is red in colour instead of its usual green colour. It is more beneficial and nutritious than green ladyfinger. It is extremely beneficial for people who are facing heart and blood pressure issues, diabetes, high cholesterol,” Rajput told news agency ANI.
The highlight of this crop is its price. While normal okra is available around ₹40 per kg in Delhi, the red ladyfinger commands a premium. “This ladyfinger is 5-7 times more expensive than ordinary ladyfingers. It is being sold from ₹75-80 to ₹300-400 per 250 gram/500 gram in some malls,” said Rajput.
The farmer from Khajuri Kalan area in Bhopal district said he purchased 1 kg seeds from an agricultural research institute in Varanasi. “In around 40 days, it started growing,” said Rajput.
He added that no harmful pesticides were used during the cultivation of red ladyfinger. Rajput said that a minimum of 40-50 quintals and a maximum of 70-80 quintals could be grown on an acre of land.
A similar story had emerged from Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur in June, where orchardist couple Rani and Sankalp Parihar grew unusual ruby-coloured mangoes. To the couple’s pleasant surprise, the mangoes turned out to be Japanese Miyazaki.
Miyazaki mangoes are among the most expensive in the world and sold at ₹2.70 lakh per kilogram in the international market last year, according to the Japanese media reports.