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Is Black Potato Real?

This variety of potatoes got the attention of many recently. While its properties remain uncertain, the reality may leave you hopeful.

Mrini Devnani
Black Potatoes May Be the Next Big Thing (Photo Source: Gaya Prasad Maurya)
Black Potatoes May Be the Next Big Thing (Photo Source: Gaya Prasad Maurya)

It is quite debatable whether black potatoes are old or new. Some say it has been there for 5-7 years, others opine that it is a rarity. So, what appears is the black outer layer of a pebble-like potato with purple insides which seems to have some rich nutrients to boast of. Considered safe for consumption, this variety is currently being bred in Uttar Pradesh and is believed to be rich in antioxidants.

When asked Gaya Prasad Maurya (55), a farmer who cultivates it, he says, “I have been growing this variety, aka ‘Neelkanth’ for the past one or two years. Nonetheless, it has not yet garnered the recognition it deserves.” Apart from him, a few other farmers are also growing this variety in the vicinity. The farmer states that it is known to have medicinal qualities. However, such claims could not be verified by any scientist or industry expert.

Maurya has been practicing farming for 20 years. He first started with the cultivation of Dragon Fruit. Apart from this, he also produces potato, garlic, and paddy. He believes that in the coming years, black potatoes can be an important variety. Similarly, he has been growing black rice too. He says, “More often than not, people pick up foods that look attractive. I am still working towards making black potatoes a mainstream choice for people.”

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