KOCHI: Venturing into the modern agri farming, INKEL Limited, a public private partnership (PPP) initiative at Kochi, that brings together government agencies and prominent investors, has introduced yellow seedless hybrid of watermelons for the first time in Kerala market.
The unique variety of thirst quencher, which was developed by Kerala Agriculture University (KAU), has been cultivated on a five-and-a-half acre plot at Piravom 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 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.
"Kerala is over-dependent on neighbouring states for its food needs. According to estimates, vegetables around Rs. 3000 crore are imported into Kerala yearly. The state produces only about five lakh tons of vegetables out of the total annual requirement of around 25 lakh tons. We forayed into the modern farming business to bridge the demand-supply gap for safe-to-eat fruits and vegetables," he pointed out.
INKEL has 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. The venture will also support local farmers with training on most modern farming techniques.