Offering solace to parched throats

With temperatures hovering around the 35 degree Celsius mark this summer, people in the city are flocking juice shops and gorging on fruits to quench their thirst. Even though occasional rains have cooled the city a bit, the major duration of the summer has been incredibly hot.

Each glass of fruit juice costs anywhere between Rs 15 to 50 burning a hole into people’s pockets. Even a tender coconut costs as much as Rs 10 or Rs 12.
During such a time of high costs, Grape Juice sold by Horticulture Producers Co-operative Marketing Society (HOPCOMS) comes as a boon to many costing as little as Rs seven per bottle.

According to Horticulture Department Assistant Director B S Raju, more than 1,500 bottles of grape juice are sold every day between March and June. During the remaining part of the year around 500 to 600 bottles are sold. HOPCOMS earns around Rs thee to Rs 3.5 lakh per month during summer and during the remainder of the year it earns between Rs one and Rs 1.5 lakh.

Raju opines that grape juice sold by private companies aren’t favoured by people as they don’t boil the grapes. When the process unfolds, the syrup is extracted from the grape and then churned into high quality juice.

He said that a Cold Storage Unit is being constructed on two acres near Lalith Mahal Hotel on T Narsipur Road, to store fruits and vegetables purchased from farmers. Also, he said that plans are afoot to open a modern outlet at Curzon Park and also begin manufacturing of mango juice.

Health benefits

Mentioning the health benefits of grape, K R Hospital’s Dr Rajan said that soft drinks are not good for health as they are filled with chemicals. However, grape juice offers Vitamin C to people and gives energy to the body.

He said that it helps clean blood and increases immunity. It also helps in controlling heart attacks and blood pressure, he added. It’s other medicinal qualities are preventing cough and acidity.

About HOPCOMS

The Grape Growers Co-operative Society was started in 1959 by the then Horticulture Department Director Dr M H Marigowda, it was aimed at making optimal use of huge quantities of grape grown in places such as Bangalore Rural, Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Gowribidanur.

While the society turned successful, HOPCOMS was founded to provide a market for fruits and vegetables and also to help both the farming community as well as consumers.
Juice extracted from fruits including blue grape, mango and orange was stored and sold at a low price.

Similarly, manufacturing of grape juice began in 1972. In 2003, the State Government made all the HOPCOMS branches in each district autonomous. Grapes were purchased from farmers in Chikkaballapur and Kolar and then high quality juice was manufactured and then distributed to various HOPCOMS branches.


(Translated by Manish)

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