A group of farmers Mrs. Radhamani N.R, Mrs. Prasanna Kumari, Mrs. Sulochana Amma, Mrs. Jaya Kumari, Mr. Sasi Kumar, Mr.Anil Kumar K.G, Mr.Ramachandran, and Mr. Sasidharan Pillai from Chithara Grama Panjayath, Kollam district happened to attend a training programme on ‘Value added products from fruits and vegetable’ in KVK Alappuzha conducted from 5th to 7th March 2018. The training programme could create a positive impact on these farmers who were motivated to have an enterprise to prepare value added products from fruits and vegetables. They started producing in small quantities and marketed with the constant technical support from KVK. On the basis of the information obtained from KVK on Machineries, FSSAI registration, packing and marketing, they decided to start a new micro venture for food processing. Mean time they approached the Agriculture Department and received financial support for purchasing machineries. Thus these eight farmer-entrepreneurs established a new fruits and vegetable processing unit under the brand name “GRAMASREE” at Chithara Gramma Panjayath, Kollam.
Sri. Mullakkara Rathnakaran, MLA inaugurated the processing unit on 3rd August 2018. Smt. Jisssy George, SMS-Home science, KVK-Alappuzha participated in the function as chief guest. Mr. Najeeb, Principal Agricultural Officer; Mrs. Anithamani V, Deputy Director, Agriculture; Mrs. Sonia V R, Deputy Director, Agriculture and other dignitaries attended the function. Mr. P.C. Sasi Kumar, President, ‘Gramasree’ spoke on the occasion.
The unit started producing different value added products from fruits and vegetables including jam, jelly, squash, RTS, dried fruits, candy etc. It is envisaged that in the near future, this initiative shall reach newer heights through setting up of food chains, with a large variety of fruits and vegetable products though out the district.