The idea of diversification of crops is highly emerging and farmers are suggested to go for it to avoid heavy losses. 'Teff',(Eragrostis tef) known as the superfood of Ethiopia could be a good choice for Indian farmers. Scientists have unlocked the secrets of Teff.Teff is a protein rich grain that has been the staple food of Ethiopia for thousands of years.It is also increasingly popular worldwide, touted as a superfood for its gluten-free, high fiber and protein, and low-sugar properties. Merely 100 g of Teff could compensate a day's Iron requirement. Yet dramatic temperature increases projected in Ethiopia by 2070, could force farmers to grow it only in mountainous areas at higher altitudes, driving down production at a time when food is already scarce and the population is rising.
Teff, however, has secrets hidden within its DNA. For the first time, scientists have mapped the grain's massive diversity, consisting of 3,850 known types. Each has unique characteristics, or "traits," allowing them to cope with different environmental conditions.The massive genetic diversity of teff has opened up possibilities to produce climate-resilient varieties.
Is it suitable for Indian conditions?
Yes.The grain can withstand temperature extremes from 2°C to 38°C; some can cope with almost 2,000 mm of annual rainfall; others only tolerate 542mm. There are red, brown and white types, each containing varied nutrients and flavors that are used for different dishes.
Teff can be substituted for rice or wheat and is suitable for idli and dosa making.
Nutritionist say that it can be a solution to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity as it is gluten-free. It has a subtle nutty flavor.
It can be grown in both kharif and rabi season. It is highly suitable for dry regions as it is drought tolerant.
CFTRI(Central Food and Technology Research Institute) is the first to introduce teff in India.Since there is no awareness among the farmers and citizens, it is working to build awareness to increase demand.
Ethiopian dosa !
Injera is a sour fermented flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made out of teff flour. It is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It resembles the Indian dosa and can make way to India as well if Teff sowing is taken up.One day injera could share the place with dosa!