Union Minister impressed with growth story of chia seeds in Karnataka

Farmers’ leader and Chairperson of Raitha Mitra Farmers Producer company Kurubur Shanthakumar at a meeting with Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh at CFTRI in Mysuru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Raitha Mithra Farmers’ Producer Company in Mysuru has impressed Union Minister for Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh with the growth story of chia seeds, a high energy food of South American origin, whose cultivation in Karnataka has begun paying rich dividends to the farmers.

The company’s chairman and farmers’ leader Kurubur Shanthakumar along with the company’s director T.V. Gopinath met the Union Minister on the CFTRI premises in Mysuru on Friday and briefed him about the growth of the company during the last five years and the role it played in popularising chia seeds among the farmers of the State.

“We started cultivating chia seeds with just 100 grams provided to us by the CFTRI in Mysuru during 2014-15. Now, farmers in different parts of the State cultivate more than 5,000 tonnes of chia seeds every year”, Mr. Shanthakumar said.

Considered to be a superfood, chia seeds enjoy a huge demand in the domestic as well as the international market, he said. About 20,000 farmers across Karnataka grow chia seeds on roughly 20,000 acres of land.

Impressed with the growth story of chia seeds, Mr. Singh is believed to have told Mr. Shanthakumar that he will try to introduce the cultivation of chia seeds in his native State of Bihar.

Apart from the huge demand for chia seeds and its profitability for the farmers, Mr. Shanthakumar said the crop is not harmed by wild animals, which are a menace to the farmers in many parts of Bihar.

The Minister was presented with oil made out of chia seeds by the company on the occasion.

Also present at the meeting was Ranganath from Nutriplanet Foods, which produces high-energy foods from chia seeds from the technology developed by CFTRI. Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru Bagadi Gautham, CFTRI Director Sridevi Singh and other scientists from the premier food technology laboratory were present on the occasion.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:00:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/union-minister-impressed-with-growth-story-of-chia-seeds-in-karnataka/article36668627.ece

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