Days after a farmer from Bihar went viral for selling a type of vegetable called ‘hop shoots’ that fetched Rs 1 lakh per kilogram in the market, new reports suggest that the whole thing was a lie.
Farmer Amresh Singh, 38, who hails from the Karamdih village in Bihar’s Aurangabad district reportedly invested Rs. 2.5 lakh to grow hop shoots, a plant usually seen in the international vegetable market and which sells at roughly Rs 85,000 to Rs 1 lakh per kilogram of the vegetable. Amresh was allegedly growing the vegetable in five katha of his land and claimed he hadn’t used any chemical fertilizers or pesticides to increase productivity and his income from the crop. According to a report in The New Indian Express, Amresh was growing the vegetable on a trial basis and that at least 60 percent of the vegetable cultivation had happened effectively.
Senior bureaucrat Supriya Sahu was among the many social media users who shared the story of Amresh, praising him for his innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that might help other farmers to also cultivate the crops for better earning. The tweet went viral and soon everyone started wondering about hop shoots, the wondrous vegetable that fetched such a high price in the market.
On Saturday, however, Dainik Jagran newspaper reported that no such vegetable was being grown by the farmer. A team from the media house visited Amresh in his village and found that the reports were fake and that no such vegetable was being grown by him. Even local villagers confirmed that no such vegetable named “hop shoots” was being cultivated in the vicinity.
Hop shoots, scientifically known as humulus-lupulus is being grown at the Indian Vegetable Research Institute at Varanasi under the guidance of agricultural scientist Dr Lal. Previous reports claimed Amresh brought saplings of the plant to cultivate them. The flowers of the plant, known as hop-cones or strobile are used as a stabilising agent in beer making. The other parts of the plant such as twigs are used for food and medicine.