Kochi | Venturing into modern agri-farming, INKEL Limited, a public private partnership model company, has introduced yellow seedless hybrid of watermelons for the first time in Kerala market. Developed by Kerala Agriculture University (KAU), the ‘unique’ variety has been cultivated on a five-and-a-half acre field at Piravom in Ernakulam district as part of INKEL Agro Farm project.
The University, for the first time, shared the technology of planting the seedless variety of watermelon in Kerala. There will be a huge demand for the same in the market, said INKEL Managing Director T Balakrishnan. Apart from the unique fruit, the plantation includes plantain, red lady papaya, red watermelons (with and without seed) and Rambutan.
The produces are expected to be harvested during September-October this year, and the expected yield is over 50 tonnes. He said Kerala was over-dependent on neighbouring states for its food needs. According to estimates, vegetables worth Rs 3,000 crore are imported into Kerala yearly.
The state produces only about five lakh tonnes of vegetables out of the total annual requirement of around 25 lakh tonnes. We forayed into the modern farming business to bridge the demand-supply gap for safe-to-eat fruits and vegetables, he said. INKEL has also initiated polyhouse at Piravom and INKEL Greens, Malappuram for producing vegetables, including green chilly, long beans, brinjal and ladyfinger.
As part of expansion, INKEL is also implementing a modern agro farm at Palakkad in a 60-acre area and will support local farmers with training on most modern farming techniques. It can guide the farmers on the adoption of new technologies, farm practices, modern processing techniques, and post-harvest technologies for value addition.
The ultimate aim of the farms established by INKEL is to give a fillip to the modern agricultural practices by bringing in the best technology and practices available elsewhere in the world, he said.
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