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Kerala to have strawberry processing plant

Munnar (Kerala), Feb 13 : The State Horticulture Mission, funded by the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, an initiative of the union ministry of agriculture, is all set to open a strawberry processing plant here Friday, an official said.


K. Prathapan, mission director, told IANS Thursday that Munnar and its neighbourhood are home to two of the best varieties of strawberry - 'Sweet Charlie' and 'Winter Dawn' - and both are much sought-after products.

"The new factory has a capacity to process two tonnes of strawberry per hour. The mission has joined hands with local farmers who have turned 300 hectares of land into beautiful strawberry gardens," said Prathapan.

He said the factory will provide direct jobs to 20 women from the state run women's poverty alleviation programme Kudhumbhasree and there will be more than 1,000 indirect jobs.

The first quarter of every year is the peak production time for strawberries.

"During the off season, locally grown fruits such as apple, oranges, litchi and passion fruit would be processed," Lal Varghese, mission chairman, told IANS.

Munnar is a picturesque hill station 1,450 metres above sea level in Idukki district, and gets a huge number of tourists - both domestic and international - every year.

--IANS (Posted on 13-02-2014)

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