BHOPAL- A farmer in Madhya Pradesh is growing red ladyfinger in his garden. Middle-aged Misrilal Rajput hails from Bhopal district’s Khajuri Kalan area. He sowed the seeds in July and in just 40 days, the crop started growing and now his garden is filled with red pods.
“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 ANI.
According to Rajput, the market price for the red ladyfinger ranges from ₹75-80 to ₹300-400 per 250 grams or 500 grams. He claims that he did not use any harmful pesticides during the cultivation of this product. Rajput believes that one could grow about a minimum of 40-50 quintals and a maximum of 70-80 quintals on an acre of land.
Rajput told the news agency that he purchased 1kg seeds for the crop from an agricultural research Institute in Varanasi. The Institute Rajput is talking about is the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research in Varanasi. IIVR, which is a field unit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and comes under the Indian government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, developed this new red variety of okra in 2019 after some 23 years of research. The variety is officially named Kashi Lalima.
According to the Institute’s website, the red ladyfinger is not only tolerant of two major diseases that affect okra – Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus (YVMV) and Okra Leaf Curl Virus (OLCV) – but also rich in nutrients such as anthocyanins and phenolics.
These nutrients provide anti-oxidant effects and boost the human body’s anti-inflammation capacity. The crop is suitable for both spring-summer and rainy seasons. The website mentions that a hectare can grow about 14-15 tonnes of Kashi Lalima.
Before Kashi Lalima was developed at IIVR, India had to import red ladyfinger from western countries to meet the demand.