The state of Jharkhand is famous for its stunning natural beauty, ancient temples, archaeological sites, mineral deposits and agricultural produce. Jharkhand is a largely agrarian economy with more than 60 percent of its people involved in farming and animal husbandry. Each district has its own signature crop that is in great demand in the markets of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
Green chilli is a prized crop of Bharat and is grown in almost every state. Its commercial, nutritional and medicinal value makes it an indispensable cash crop for small and marginal farmers. Green chilli is a principal ingredient for all local delicacies, sweets and namkeen. Its versatility finds favour in a number of industries and is used to prepare condiments, sauces, pickles, ready to eat meals, sweets and masalas. It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, B, C and E and minerals.
The sharpness, hotness, taste, flavour and colour of the chilli varies from district to district as per the agro-climatic conditions. Gumla district is renowned for its native green chilli, mango, guava, strawberry, custard apple, banana, papaya, peach, ber, potato, onion, brinjal, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, tomato, peas, beans, leafy vegetables, cucurbits, tubers, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek and flowers like carnation, marigold, rose, gerbera and chrysanthemum.
The moderate temperature during summer, average annual rainfall of 1028 mm and fertile loam soil is conducive for the cultivation of green chilli. Chilli is both a kharif and rabi crop and is grown in small patches of land. It is estimated that these chillies fetch around Rs 7500 plus per quintal in the local market.
PC-56, NCH-587, VNR-332, Vidya, 2014/CHIHYB-3 and CH-27 are some of the hybrid varieties grown here. There has been tremendous support from the central government with a host of subsidies offered to the farmers to help them increase production, quality and income. The farmers are now moving towards natural, zero and organic farming and this has enhanced the flavour and quality of the produce in this district.
In light of the pandemic, several innovative sweet shops have come with chilli rasagullas, turmeric rasagullas, bitter gourd rasagullas and garlic rasagullas using the local produce. These delicious rasagullas have been marketed as immunity boosting rasagullas and have found many fans in Jharkhand.
Most sweet shops in Ranchi are now selling these unique rasagullas and the owners are smiling because of the big orders received during the festivals from all over the nation.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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