News Karnataka
Thursday, November 30 2023

Is ‘Black Wheat’ really black & more protein-rich than normal wheat?

Shantawwa Balagond
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Vijayapura: Black wheat which is normally cultivated in parts of North India, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, has been cultivated on experimental bases in the district also.

A progressive woman farmer, Shantawwa Balagond who has cultivated this crop on her farm in Kolhar Taluk, said that she has cultivated it on an experimental basis to check whether the crop can be cultivated in the district or not.

She said that when she came to know about such wheat which is normally cultivated in Madhya Pradesh and new to Vijayapura, she got some five kilograms of wheat seeds from MP to cultivate on her farm.

Having cultivated in half acre land, she cultivated the crop in the same manner as normal wheat. “I came to know that the crop is cultivated like normal wheat and it requires the same quantity of water which is needed for white or brown wheat,” she said.

With the cultivation period of three months, she said an acre of cultivation could give a yield of 8-10 quintals. The cost of black wheat in the retail market is around Rs. 80 to Rs. 120 kg.

black wheat

She, however, said that since it is cultivated on experimental bases, many aspects such as marketing should be done to popularise it.

When contacted Dr. Uday Reddy, Wheat Breeder of All India Coordinated Research Project of University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharawad, he refutes the claim that wheat is more nutrition-rich than other traditional wheat.

He said that the research has proved that it has not much additional proteins or nutrition as claimed by many who are promoting this crop.

“As far as colour is concerned, it is not black but more of purple. That too, the entire grain is not purple as only the outer part is purple. When the grain is cut, you will see the colour of the grain which is white like normal wheat. It is only because of some changes in the photosynthesis process, the outer colour of the grain turns purple,” Dr. Reddy said.

Asserting that this type of crop is prone to diseases, he recommends the farmers avoid cultivating this ‘black wheat.’

“This crop neither has additional nutritional value nor is strongly disease resistant. Even the market is also poor for this crop as you will not find more buyers. Considering all these aspects, the farmers should better avoid cultivating this crop and go for a traditional type of wheat if they wish to cultivate it,” he said.

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