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Monsoon wild vegetables in demand

Monsoons are when leafy wild vegetables make their way from green patches around the hamlets to various markets in the state, discovers Bhiva P Parab

With monsoons wild vegetables have started arriving in various markets of the state. There is good demand for these vegetables from residents as they are tasty as well as healthy. The monsoon is when leafy vegetables like like taikulo or taikalo, tere, kuddu, fhakala and khadpatli bhaji make their way from the interiors to the city.

With vegetables coming from outside the state in a trickle several residents are going in for the wild vegetables. “The vegetables are free from pesticides and several generations have been eating it. They are found in the wild we prefer these vegetables than outside products,” said a woman, Manjiri.

A vegetable vendor from Mapusa said that, demand is good for the wild vegetables but the rates vary according to the demand and supply. We have to make a profit, so naturally when we incur higher cost at the source the rate will be higher at the markets. The vendor went on to say that usually in the local markets or on the roadsides the vendors are seen selling the wild vegetables. Around 10 stems of tere are priced at Rs 20, while aalo another wild vegetable which has mostly a single big leaf per stem is also priced Rs 20 per 10 stems. In Panaji market however the price is higher and the same quantity may be priced at Rs 40 or higher. Then there is kuddu vegetable which is priced at Rs 10 to 15 a bunch. It tastes similar to the tambadi bhaji, while the shegul leaves are sold at Rs 10 per small branch.

“The price depends on the quality, size and also on the quantity available. “Some people especially ask for the wild vegetables which are locally grown in the hilly area and they like to eat these seasonal produce. In the city markets the rate is higher thanks to transportation cost,” said the vendor.

“I feel wild vegetables are very good for health as they grow naturally. Unfortunately they are available less now due to land development. The habitat is getting destroyed and earlier during our younger days during the monsoon season we only subsisted on wild vegetables,” said an elderly woman, Rukmini.

The wild vegetables is reasonably priced and one of the commonly eaten vegetable is taikulo which is leafy and plucked from a clean patch of land. The edible part of the plant is the fresh tender shoots and its plucked the same way tea leaves are plucked. According to Ayurveda the leaves and seeds of this plant are acrid, laxative and have several healthy properties. A ‘vato’ of taikulo is priced at Rs 30 to 40.

A vendor from Pernem said that, wild edible plants are also available in the Pernem markets and receives good demand. The vendor went on to say that getting the vegetables in large quantities is difficult as their production depends on the nature. During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival various wild vegetables form part of the menu and during the festive time the demand for the wild vegetables surges.  The wild vegetables form part of a healthy diet and are good source of vitamins and

minerals.

Local veggies find takers

Along with wild vegetables local vegetables are are in demand during monsoons. Leafy vegetables like mulo, gadde or naaba, chavali palo and tambdi bhaji are popular. Some five pieces of mulo are priced at Rs 20 or sometimes bunches are priced Rs 10 or Rs 20 depending on the size, while tambdi bhaji is commonly sold in bunches and priced Rs 10 to 20 per bunch.

Then there is gadde or naaaba vegetable which is priced at Rs 10 to 15 a piece, while the shegul leaves are sold at Rs 10 per small branch.

The vendor went on to say that recently variety of local vegetables have started entering the various markets of the state. The major supply of vegetables into the state invariably comes from Belgaum. In fact Goa is entirely dependent on Belgaum for the procurement of their daily need of vegetables. However slowly this scenario is changing as Goans have slowly started expanding base in horticulture cultivation.

The local vegetable growers are doing profitable business. The import of vegetables from Belgaum is on rise when local production is not upto the mark but when the locally grown vegetables are available several people prefer to go for the locally grown vegetables.

“I feel local vegetables are very good for health as they are grown with hardly any use of pesticides. A vegetable vendor from Mandrem said that nowadays the variety of local vegetables have started entering the Mandrem market as these days the cultivation is on large land and there is a quite good demand for the vegetable. She said, the prices of local vegetables vary according to the demand and supply and those vegetables coming from outside the state cost more so people prefer the local edible plants in their regular menu and the cost of these local vegetables in Pernem markets is less compared to the city markets like Mapusa and Panaji.

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