Shillong: The Meghalaya government is betting big on buckwheat plantation, planning to expand its cultivation to 1,000 acres in the state over the next few years, as the “land and weather conditions are perfect” for growing the cash crop, a senior official said.

He noted that the area under buckwheat cultivation in the state has already been increased to 100 acres from four acres in a span of around nine to 10 months.

“Buckwheat is a superfood, filled with valuable nutrients. In the next two to three years, we will have successfully grown buckwheat on 1,000 acres. Land and weather conditions in Meghalaya are perfect for this cash crop, Meghalaya Farmers’ (Empowerment) Commission chairman K N Kumar told PTI, on the sidelines of a food exhibition here.

Given that it is not a high-maintenance crop, buckwheat can help generate supplementary income for the farmers of the state, he stated.

“Buckwheat cultivation was introduced to the farmers of the state in 2019. The first seeds were brought from Almora in Uttarakhand. A trial run was undertaken in parts of the state, which, however, took a hit during cyclone Amphan. Later, in August last year, four acres in East Khasi Hills were allotted for growing the crop, and the initiative turned out to be successful,” he explained.

According to Kumar, the state is expecting a yield of 500 MT this year.

“The government is buying buckwheat from farmers at Rs 40 a kilogramme. The crop is in demand in various parts of the world, including Japan,” he added.

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