Hops cultivation benefits Himachal Pradesh farmers

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Keylong (Himachal Pradesh), Oct 18(ANI): Farmers in Himachal Pradesh's Keylong region are reaping rich dividends by cultivating hops due to its lucrative value in domestic and international markets.

Hops are female flower clusters of the hop plant, which are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, and also for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.

One kilogram of the hops can easily fetch the farmers Rs.60 to Rs.70, following which it has emerged as one of the main cash crops of the region and is being cultivated in around 63 hectares of the land area.

"It is very easy to grow. We do not have to sow it again and again. We have to only change the its rope or thread, to support the plant. People are benefiting a lot from it," said Shamsher Singh, a farmer.

The various varieties cultivated in the region are the hybrid and late cluster, which are rich in alpha acid content and is in demand in the beer industry.

"The hops grown here is the hybrid 2 variety, which has a high content of alpha acid and last year we found that it has approximately 13.1 alpha content in it, and it has got a boost because of its use in the beer industry," said S.K. Gupta, Deputy Director of Horticulture in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.

The cultivation of hops in the region begun in 1979 and last year 41.80 metric tones of the product was produced. By Prem Thakur (ANI)

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