Kadaknath, a wild breed of chicken, may soon find a place in the diet chart of athletes who are preparing for the next Olympics or other international sporting event, says a scientist at the Jhabua Krishi Vigyan Kendra.
The agriculture research centre has written to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) requesting it to include Kadaknath in an athletes’ diet chart, said Dr IS Tomar, director of the kendra.
Kadaknath, a breed of black chicken found in Madhya Pradesh’s tribal-dominated Jhabua and Alirajpur districts, has high protein, iron and low fat content as compared to the ordinary breed of chicken.
Locally known as “kali masi”, the chicken is popular for its black meat, which is rich in protein, iron and minerals. Scientific data show that the iron content in Kadaknath chicken is nearly 10 times that of ordinary chicken.
The letter with an attached nutrients chart, approved by the Hyderabad–based National Research Centre on Meat, signed by a senior scientist at the centre and endorsed by Tomar, has been sent to the IOA on October 22 and we are now waiting for their reply, Tomar told Hindustan Times.
Earlier in August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a task force will be set up to prepare a comprehensive action plan for “effective participation” of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games — 2020, 2024 and 2028.
Kadaknath meat is not only high in protein but rich in iron and it will be helpful to fulfill protein and iron requirement of athletes, he said, adding that for a country with a population of 1.25 billion, India failed to get single gold at the Rio Olympics games and diet could be the one reason behind the poor performance.
“We could supplement this by adding Kadaknath in athletes’ diet chart.”
The popularity of Kadaknath is increasing every day and once the IOA includes the meat in the diet chart, it will great boost for athletes as well as local village economy as the state government has started a Kadaknath poultry breeding program in the area involving hundreds of below poverty line families, said Tomar.
Protein: 24% (Kadaknath); 18 to 20% (Local breed)
Fat: 1.94 to 2.6% (Kadaknath); 13 to 25% (Local breed)
Cholesterol: 59 to 60 mg/ 100 gm (Kadaknath); 218.12mg/ 100 gm (Local breed)