Tasty snow peas grown in Himachal Pradesh are finding their way to markets in the national capital and also fetching handsome returns, agricultural experts said on Saturday.
Trials by the Shimla-based Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the fields of grower Rakesh Dulta of Sheel village Rohru tehsil have obtained productivity of about seven quintals per ”bigha” for snow peas cultivar ”Mithi Phali”.
The returns is fetched between Rs 200-300 per kg at Azadpur vegetable market in New Delhi, said the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, which functions under the management of Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni in Solan district.
Enthusiastic with the yield and remunerative returns, Dulta is now encouraging farmers to adopt the commercial cultivation of snow peas and other exotic vegetables in the region.
“Snow pea is valued for its edible pods having various nutraceutical values and is highly cherished as a salad. Lack of parchment layer on the inner wall of pods makes it fit for raw consumption,” vegetable scientist Ashok Thakur told IANS.
“However, the pods can be cooked as well,” he said.
The snow pea is a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C.
Besides they are an excellent source of dietary fibre and also contain folate and minerals such as potassium, said Thakur.
According to him, there are plenty of exotic vegetates that can be successfully grown in mid and high hills and can be a promising intervention for enhancing farmersaÂ¿ income.
hese crops are best suited for intercropping with apple and other fruit crops.
N.S. Kaith, in-charge at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, told IANS the diversification of apple growing regions with short duration high-value cash crops could become a boon to the economy of the hill state.
Congratulating the scientists, Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, said the university has been doing efforts in diversification of horticulture.
He urged the scientists to encourage more and more farmers to adopt such diversification strategies, which will not only reduce dependence on one crop but also supplement farm incomes.
For the past three years, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra has introduced on trial exotic vegetables like the snow pea, lettuce, pok choi, kale, courgettes, cherry tomatoes and seedless cucumbers.