Black Potatoes? Meet the Man Taking Black Tremendous Crops to fifteen States


Ravi Prakash Maurya, a farmer in Uttar Pradesh is cultivating ‘black crops’ — rice, wheat, tomato, niger seeds, turmeric and potato — all with one factor in frequent, their color and presence of antioxidants. Here is why he is selling black potatoes throughout India.

Ravi Prakash Maurya, 40, has turn out to be a ‘black potato champion’ of kinds. A journalist by occupation, Maurya has been rising the vegetable for 5 years now and selling it amongst different farmers unfold throughout 15 states in India.

Following the loss of life of his father, Maurya returned to Mansoorpur, his village in Prayagraj and took to farming in 2016. He has been rising what he calls the ‘black crops’ — rice, wheat, tomato, niger seeds, turmeric and ginger and potato — all with one factor in frequent, their black color.

Having sourced the spuds from a farmer in Rae Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Maurya says he began rising black potatoes resulting from their excessive focus of antioxidants useful for good well being.  

Domestically often called ‘Kaala Aaloo’ (black potato) by the growers, it’s removed from that and is darkish purple which is revealed as soon as the spud is sliced into two. To know extra about this vegetable, let’s dive additional into its background.

The black potatoes alongside the regular white ones for comparison.
The black potatoes alongside the common white ones for comparability.

The place does the black potato come from?

Grown by some 50-odd farmers within the potato-growing belt of Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, black potatoes have but to make their presence recognized within the APMCs (Agricultural Produce Market Committees). Most of those greens are grown to be bought simply as seed materials.

“A kilo of tubers yields round 15 kg of potato,” explains Maurya. Grown with farm yard manure, he spends round Rs 6,000 on inputs and harvests practically 90 quintals per bigha, which is barely lower than common potatoes.

Like different members of the potato household (Solanum tuberosum), they arrive from a tuber plant native to the Andes Mountains area in South America and are characterised by their distinctive blue-purple-black outer pores and skin. The internal flesh of this vegetable is an excellent purple, which stays intact even after cooking. 

Grown the world over, it may be recognized with completely different names just like the Shetland Black, Purple Peruvian, Purple Majesty, All Blue, Congo, Adirondack Blue, Purple Fiesta, and Vitelotte.

Farmers harvesting the black potatoes.
Farmers harvesting the black potatoes.

How does the black potato style?

“They’ve a denser texture and are barely nuttier than the standard white potatoes,” explains Maurya. Anand Mani Bhat (44) of Bhimtal village in Nainital, who took to rising black potatoes in 2021, agrees with Maurya, including, “They’ve an curiously earthier flavour than the standard.” 

Ever since Atul Singh of Jhansi was given a handful of black potatoes by Maurya about two years in the past to strive them out, he has been looking for them each time they arrive out there.

The 35-year-old dealer of agricultural merchandise on-line says, “It’s pretty small in comparison with the common potatoes which we have now been utilizing. When sliced open, it reveals a purple ring close to the sting. I discover it appropriate for roasting, baking or steaming and have generally made chips from it which is ideal for its candy and buttery flavour and light-weight, floury texture.”

How the black potatoes look like on the inside after being cut.
How the black potatoes appear like on the within after being minimize.

Dietary worth of the black potatoes

Principal scientist on the Modipuram-based ICAR-Central Potato Analysis Institute, Regional Station,  Dr Satish Kumar Luthra provides, “Darkish purple or red-skinned potatoes with purple or purple flesh possess greater dietary values than white-skinned potatoes.” 

Dr Luthra can also be credited with growing the Kufri Neelkanth potato selection.

In fruit and veggies, purple typically signifies the presence of vitamins known as anthocyanins. Like different phytonutrients, your physique doesn’t want them to perform, however they do assist shield your cells from harm that may result in sickness and illness.

“These potatoes are in all probability wealthy in anthocyanins, imparting a deep purple color. A category of flavonoids, anthocyanins are recognized to have a number of well being advantages,” says Dr Pradeep Singh Negi, Chief Scientist, Fruit and Vegetable Know-how Division at Mysore-based CSIR-Central Meals Technological Analysis Institute. 

“Having hues from blue to purple, anthocyanins are water-soluble and are used as meals colourant as properly,” he provides.

Whereas all potato varieties influence blood sugar ranges due to their carbohydrate content material, black potatoes could exert much less of an impact than different sorts resulting from their excessive focus of polyphenol plant compounds. 

In addition to anthocyanins, they’ve 2-3 instances the full antioxidants of a typical white potato, which is loaded with potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and fibre. Fruits similar to jamun, blueberries, and blackberries are wealthy in anthocyanins.

The glycemic index (GI) measures the extent to which meals raises your blood sugar. It ranges from 0 to 100, and a GI higher than 70 is taken into account excessive. A comparability research in people discovered that black potatoes have a GI of 77, yellow potatoes have a GI of 81, and white potatoes have a GI of 93.  

The full-size black potatoes.
The complete-size black potatoes.

Being a brand new selection, most farmers are nonetheless experimenting with it. 

“The farmers order between 3-5 kg of seeds. They preserve components of the harvest for themselves and the remaining to promote as tubers or seeds,” says Maurya. “That’s the principle purpose one doesn’t see it within the markets or outlets.”

Ever since Abhishek Shrivastava, president of the Agri Junction — an initiative of the Uttar Pradesh authorities with 4,000 retailers throughout the state — put up a video on Youtube in March 2020 in regards to the black potatoes, he has been flooded with requests for these tubers. 

Thus far, they’ve equipped a complete of three,000 kg of those to farmers in Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. 

“By early 2025, we’ll hopefully see black potatoes arriving out there,” says Shrivastava. 

Maurya, too, has been flooded with orders for the tubers and has, thus far, equipped it to greater than 500 plus farmers throughout the nation. He even experimented and made potato chips and papad at dwelling from the vegetable. “They could be darkish in color however are very tasty,” he provides.

Ramgopal Chandel of Barsawan village has been rising black potatoes on one bigha land for greater than a decade now.  Having spent Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 on inputs, he says, “I get round 80 quintals per bigha, which is barely lower than the common ones. However this potato scores properly as its shelf life is longer.”

If you wish to check out this vegetable in your backyard or kitchen, you possibly can contact Ravi Prakash Maurya at 9026253336.

Edited by Padmashree Pande.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *