When the Commonwealth Games unfold in August, India’s farms will partly power the on-field spectacle.
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is pulling off an ambitious plan to dish up a global but locally grown fare for participants from 71 countries.
And the rigour starts right at the farms. Nearly 500 farmers in select farms of Rajasthan, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are growing the choicest of food articles for a multi-cuisine menu.
These include celery, lettuce, Brussels sprout, broccoli, brown and green cabbage, sweet and baby corn, bell tomatoes, beans and Mediterranean greens.
Salads are a special focus area, as are “halal” farm products for Muslim guests.
The produce will have to be pretty and just right for cordon bleu recipes.
So, IARI’s food scientists are monitoring the cultivation and growers following textbook guidelines.
Instead of chemicals, biogas slurry is being used as pesticide.
“The idea is to provide everything that may be demanded of us, clean and safe,” IARI director H.S. Gupta said. The farmers were brought together through a cooperative venture led by the IARI, a premier state-run institution.
Food scientist J.B.S. Dabbas said the co-operative would continue beyond the Games, empowering farmers and consumers alike.