Nishihara Farm to promote local specialty product called nigana

Nishihara Farm to promote local specialty product called <em>nigana</em>

On March 25, at the JA Okinawa Nishihara Branch, Director Jun Nishihara of Nishihara Farm and processed goods store sales staff promoted nigana.


March 31, 2013 Yuuna Fukuhara of Ryukyu Shimpo

Agricultural Production Cooperative Nishihara Farm, which was established in conjunction with Nishihara Town, the Deserted Arable Land Planning Committee, and the Commerce and Industry Association, has worked to expand consumption of locally produced nigana. Nigana is a type of indigenous vegetable containing many nutritional components. However, there have been few applications in cooking except dishes dressed in a white miso sauce or put in soup. Processing Division Manager Jun Arakawa said, “We want to promote nigana as an island vegetable.”

As its name suggests, nigana is a leafy vegetable with a strong bitter taste. However, unlike bitter melon, nigana is not well known, and there are few applications for its processed products. Nigana is very rich in nutrition, containing much Vitamin A for maintaining healthy skin and tissue, Vitamin C for enhancing immunity and collagen formulation, as well as calcium and iron.

Arakawa explains, “People have hesitated to use it because of its name and taste, but it really is very nutritious and can be cultivated throughout the year without using agrichemicals. As a starter from February, at the processed goods store next to the JA Okinawa Nishihara Branch, nigana juice will sell for 100 yen a cup. When it is mixed with 100% pineapple juice, locally produced nigana juice is much easier to drink.

Intending to supply raw materials to beverage manufacturers, Arakawa said, “I would like to promote consumption of this vegetable and make it into a special product of this town.”

For more information, call Nishihara Farm at 098-945-4540.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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