from Lachung, North Sikkim (c.
3000m), a vanishing Botanical Heirloom left behind by Finnish Missionaries
This Scarlet Runner Bean sample has been deposited in the National Gene Bank under two accessions by NBPGR, who also sent us the nutritive analysis.
This high protein, low fat, high fibre bean locally called Lachung Tibi or 'Tibi-shonglon' by Lachungpa tribals is one of the under-utilized foods that is bowing out under the onslaught of various other foods introduced by our Horticulture Dept.
Earlier my sister-in-law was selling these large colourful beans to road construction coolies for Rs. 12/- per kilo. After we sent the beans to NBPGR and got the information, we added value by making a label with the information and today tourists are buying the same for upto Rs. 100/-. However it is still a vanishing crop buried in a high altitude village with minuscule land holdings coupled with more emphasis on tourism industry, construction of hotels, roads, etc.
Sr. Research Officer (WL)
Dept. of Forest, Env. & WL Mgmt.
Government of Sikkim
Deorali, Gangtok 737102