Cruising through the backwaters of Kerala is a travel staple with butterflies fluttering all around and palm trees leaning at lazy angles while the mind tries to adjust to doing, well, nothing.
But besides the backwaters, Kerala will surely surprise all with strawberries. Yes, Kerala grows strawberries. And, this out-of-the-box project offered by Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) in Munnar is busy wooing tourists to the scenic hill station. Though Horticorp cultivates a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, the focus is on strawberry cultivation.
Vattavada panchayat’s Kallikulam and Munnar are the regions where strawberries are cultivated extensively.
Notably, Horticorp’s three-acre land in Munnar’s Graham’s Land Road is the site where most of the strawberry cultivation is present. Travellers can visit the place, pluck and take the fruit back home.
Strawberry varieties like Winter Dawn, Sweet Charlie, Camerosa and Festival are cultivated organically on 625 acres in Munnar and other parts of Idukki. The fruit is harvested from February to mid-May.
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During the off-season period for strawberries, other fruits like mango, peach, plum, pear, apple and passion fruit are grown by farmers in Vattavada, Kanthalloor, and Munnar, under a fruit belt programme taken up by SHM-K.