Community Success Stories

Black wheat: A source that offers opportunities to all


"My children were underweight. For the past three months, I have been providing my kids with various recipes for black wheat. I have noticed an increase in their weight", said Ms Tara, a beneficiary.

Black wheat is a different kind of wheat produced by crossing. It comprises a high amount of anthocyanin, an antioxidant pigment. The presence of this pigment in the wheat leads to an increase in its nutritional value. Since June 2021, black wheat has been added as a supplementary nutrition food and distributed to severe and moderately acute malnourished children enrolled in Aanganbadi. Initially, hesitance was observed towards acceptance of the product due to its colour, but when Aanganbadi workers provided awareness about the nutritional benefits of black wheat, it was readily accepted.

"In India, the black wheat is marketed in the form of flour. This product has created an impact in the southern region of India as people tend to be more conscious about their health and are aware of the availability of such product in the market", said Mr Ashutosh Sharma, Implementer of the technology.

Industry sees black wheat as a new possibility in the health food market because it can be readily stored, consumed daily, and made into various foods such as chapatti, biscuits, dalia, bread, roasted snacks, and so on. After signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), NABI has shared its technologies with more than 28 companies.

"Since we have started the black wheat farming, we have been consuming black wheat roti's. This shows that as a farmer, we are happy with the product, so will be the consumers", said Mr Puneet Thind, Implementer of the technology.

As part of the contract farming, farmers see it as an opportunity to increase their revenue by producing and selling items at the village level. Farmers, consumers, and industry are all interested in black wheat, and production is anticipated to skyrocket in the coming years.