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No Hopshoots Cultivation in Aurangabad, Bihar, Says KVK Senior Scientist

The news about hopshoots cultivation in Aurangabad, Bihar, is fake.

Shipra Singh

The story of a Bihar farmer growing Hopshoots took the media by the storm and his news flashed everywhere. People were impressed. Farmers were inquiring about how to grow this world's costliest vegetable. The fact (as mentioned in the story) that hopshoots sell for anything between Rs. 85,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per kg made headlines. This very fact raised farmer's hopes to newer heights. 

Alas, the story is fake.  

According to agriculture scientists, it is impossible to grow hopshoots in a temperature over 45 degree celsius. And Aurangabad usually sees a temperature above 45 degree celsius 

How the expose happened  

The story was going good until a tweet by an IAS officer. This tweet spread like wildfire and people came to know about the farmer who grows this vegetable in a small land area in Karamdih village in district Aurangabad, Bihar.  

This story of Bihar farmer Amresh Singh caught the eye of the Director of IIVR (Indian Institute of Vegetable Research), Varanasi, Dr. Jagdish Singh, clarified that there is no person like Dr. Lal in IIVR who is claimed to have supplied hops saplings to Dr. Singh. The Director says, "there is no Dr. Lal in IIVR and we have nothing to do with Singh or his claims. We do not know anything about cultivation of hops, and news about its farming in Aurangabad is fake." 

The plants showed in the images of the news are not hopshoots. They are mentha or pudina, which is rampantly used for flavoring in drinks, chewing gum, toothpaste, chocolates, and candies.  

The Senior Scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Aurangabad, Dr. Nityanand, decided to dig into the truth of the hopshoots news. The scientist knows Amresh Singh well because he had helped this farmer switch to the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants on his farm. The KVK website covers the success story of this farmer in this regard.  

Dr. Nityanand visit the farmer's village and shot a video of his farm. The video exposes the truth. The field has plants, but not hopshoots. The plants are mentha. The scientist could not find even a rubble of hopshoot plant. The farmer was not present when the scientist visited his farm, but his son was there and he confirmed that no hopshoot was ever grown in their ancestral  farm.  

Dr. Nityanand concluded by saying, "I don't know who started this hops rumor and how it was first mentioned to the media. It is fake story without an iota of truth to it. Forget Karamdih, hops is not being cultivated in Aurangabad at all." 

He added, "Hops can grow in varied climatic conditions but normally it requires temperatures below 12-15 degrees Celsius to thrive. In Aurangabad, the temperature touches a high of 45-46 degrees Celsius, a temperature range in which it is impossible to cultivate hops.” 

About hopshoots 

Hopshoots plant is called Humulus lupulus. Hops are the flowers of this plant. They add the "hoppy" aroma in beer by helping it retain the foam. They are also responsible for the bitterness and flavor of beer. According to sources, hops are generally taken orally for sleep disorders, anxiety, restlessness, and to treat menopause symptoms and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  

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