Innovation no longer remains a choice but has become an imperative’, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown last year.

Coupled with the push for privatisation and rolling back of the state, Indian farmers have found themselves trying every trick of the trade to keep themselves afloat in a competitive market. The repercussions of the contest between the Centre and the farmer community can particularly be seen in the protests that rocked the national capital earlier this year and are still continuing.

In light of the recent developments, Amresh Singh, a 38-year-old farmer hailing from Bihar’s Aurangabad district, has come up with a novel solution that holds the potential to double the income of farmers. Having invested a sum of Rs 2.5 lakh, Amresh is growing the world’s costliest vegetable, i.e Hop Shoots in his backyard.

Scientifically known as Humulus- Lupulus, Hop Shoots cost roughly around Rs 85,000 per kg and does not require any chemical fertilisers or pesticides to boost productivity. Reports say that the plant is helpful in creating antibodies that prevent TB, cancer and leukaemia. The flowers of the plant are used as stabilising agent against beer making while other parts of the plant are used for food and medicine.

Talking about the genesis of the plant, Amresh has told a news daily that Hop Shoots were once cultivated in Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh but were later dis-continued due to lack of marketing for the produce. Social media users are all praises for Amresh Singh’s innovation and are hailing it as a game changer for the Indian farming community at large.

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