Agriculture department officials in Uttarkashi district have initiated the cultivation of black-coloured wheat in the region. The pilot project has been launched across 20 villages in the Dunda and Naugaon blocks of the hill district with the primary objective of increasing farmers’ income by encouraging the cultivation of high-value black wheat.
This variety of wheat has been developed by scientists of the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali, Punjab.
Compared to traditional wheat varieties, black wheat is known for its superior nutritional value and higher market value. “The value of traditional wheat varieties has decreased over time, particularly in hilly areas, where many people get food grains at low or even zero cost through government food security schemes,” said JP Tiwari, chief agriculture officer of Uttarkashi.
He added that selling food grains in wholesale markets in major cities is often unprofitable due to high transportation costs and a low Minimum Support Price (MSP). “Considering this, the department is concentrating on developing new farming patterns in the district by introducing commercial alternatives to traditional crops, such as black wheat and red rice,” Tiwari said.
This article has been republished from The Times of India