The market and discovering the Rupee
Updated: Jan 14, 2021
This is my group of interns and our hosts here in Dharwad!
The adventure continues!
Everyone here at the university is so welcoming! Tea and cookies before we start anything. I think this is a tradition I need to bring back to the States. Even our taxi drivers will stop in the middle of a long drive and have some tea.
Can you see the worms??
Back to the tour of the Agriculture department. The university grows a lot of plants and has many projects going.
Algae. They grow this for animal feed.
They have a worm composting site, they grow algae, they have a field of mango trees – and one thing I thought was way cool was they developed a way to grow plants without using any land. They lay out seed on trays and rotate them in a strategically lit, temperature controlled chamber. It will grow 6 inch sprouts in about 7 days! This would be for growing food for animals. We also learned that farmers in India are not yet using mechanical methods like we do in the US. They do the work with use of animals and by-hand labor. During our tour, we also learned about common foods that are grown in India and what nutrients they contain. We are thinking about focusing our intervention to address anemia – so we were keeping our eyes out for what foods are high in Iron and Vitamin C. Many of the dark leafy greens that are grown in India are high in Iron and low in price at the market. The problem is – much of the population avoids purchasing these goods because it is considered “poor people food”. This is a common trend in Indian culture – no one wants to be perceived as poor. Interesting fact that I learned – people in India would rather invest their money in smart phones and big screen TVs than in toilets and hygiene!! It’s true. After touring our village of study, Marewad, it was clear that there is little care concerning trash and cleanliness – but everyone had a smart phone.
A variety of colorful spices!
We also had the opportunity to visit the market. This is where the villagers would go to buy food.
The banana man!!
A man very happy to have his photo taken by us!
We saw a large variety of fruits, vegetables and goods. I enjoyed this visit – we saw many things that you don’t find in the US and learned about new foods that I had never heard of before. Most everything is sold by the kilogram and will range from 10-30 Rupees per kilogram depending on what you are purchasing. That can be a lot for a person here depending on their income.
Now, I’m not 100% on my spelling of some of these vegetables! The long vegetable in front is SnakeGourd. The skinny green sticks behind them are DrumSticks. In the bowl behind that isTamarind.
It was difficult for us interns to determine what a lot of money was to a native Indian because the exchange rate is about 60 Rupees to 1 US dollar. When we were in Goa, there is enough tourism there that many of the prices on items had been adjusted to reflect a normal price in the US. Going to the state of Karnataka, it is much different because there is far less tourism.
Tumeric!! It’s a root. This is a photo of dried tumeric root. Before being dried, it looks similar to ginger root.
Buying lunch out at a restaurant is about 200 Rupees (a little over 2 USD). Visiting tourist locations, there is two different prices for admission. One for natives, that will usually be about 5 Rupees, then one for foreigners that will be 100-250 Rupees. We discussed income with the farmer that showed us around Marewad. He told us that his villagers that worked full time at the cotton factory made 500 rupees per day. After our visit, things starting getting put into perspective.
We also visited a little grocery store which was a fun experience as well! It always neat to see what kind packaged good a country sells. We found Magic Masala potato chips! They were good! They also have a lot of orange soda here. Check this photo out – can you tell we are a bunch of nutrition professionals??? Haha!
I’m in the center! On the left is Jackie – intern from Huston, TX. On the right is one of our ISU instructors, Alison.