Hot chilli or sweet orange, take your pick

juicy fruits: Pineapples from north-east States on display at the seventh inter-State horticulture fair , at Lalbagh in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH photo

Want to buy yourself King Chilli, the hottest chilli on earth? Or some mouth-watering and lip-smacking pineapples and oranges free of any fertilisers? Then, head to Lalbagh where a five-day Fruits Mela has just begun.

While Sangam Horti, the seventh Inter-state Horticulture Fair, is to be inaugurated officially only at 11 am on Thursday, sale of fruits and vegetables opened a day in advance as visitors to Lalbagh began thronging the stalls.

Started as a product promotion and consumer awareness initiative of the Departments of Horticulture, Karnataka and Nagaland, the mela has 40 stalls selling chemical-free pineapple, orange, kiwi, ginger, King chilli, dry fruits, honey, bio-products, fertilisers, and items made of fruits and vegetables. Besides, it has an exclusive section on fruits and vegetables grown in the North Eastern states.

The mela has been organised by the Central Institute of Horticulture, Nagaland and the National Horticulture Board, Karnataka in collaboration with the Departments of Horticulture of both the States and the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture, Bangalore. According to Akali Sema, Director of the Central Institute of Horticulture, Nagaland, the mela is the second such outside the region.

“After Delhi, Bangalore is the place where people are more conscious about their health and have a good buying power. This prompted us to hold the mela here,” Sema told Deccan Herald.

Interestingly, participants from the North-East have outnumbered their counterparts from Karnataka. While 60 farmers have come from the four N-E states, only about 40 cultivators from Karnataka are taking part in the mela.

Besides, a handful of farmers from other States are also taking part. These include 32 from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, and four from Kerala.

Barring four stalls - two each of the Horticultural Producers' Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society and the National Horticulture Board - remaining stalls have been set up by individual farmers.

Farmers from the State have brought exportable fruits like grapes (Thompson, Sonaka, and Sharad seedless varieties), pomegranate (Bhagwa variety), European gherkin and cashew nut.

Besides, vegetables like European cucumber, tomato, cherry tomato, and long brinjal from Dobbespet and bitter gourd and beans from Devanahalli have been put up for sale. Processed fruits like cashew nut, raisin, jack fruit are also available.

On Thursday, a meeting of buyers and sellers will be held to look for joint initiatives.DH News Service

Comments (+)