Himachal peas a hit in Japan, Hong Kong
Tasty peas grown in a Himachal Pradesh valley are finding their way to markets in Japan and Honk Kong and fetching huge returns.
Some 600 tonnes of sandy snow peas from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have been sold in Japan and Hong Kong and earned eight times the cost of procurement from farmers, claim officials of the company who are promoting its cultivation.
Ludhiana-based Namdhari Company has taken the initiative to distribute the latest variety of peas called 'sandy snow peas' free of cost to farmers in the hill state's Nauradhar and Lanacheta regions of Sirmaur district, some 200 kms from Shimla.
"Last year we exported 600 tonnes of sandy snow peas produced in Himachal and Punjab," said Namdhari Company's Himachal representative Mandeep Singh.
"We not only distribute the seed free of cost to the farmer at his doorstep but also provide money for fertilisers and irrigation," said Singh.
Seeds have already been distributed and sown for this year and the crop will be ready in a few months from now.
"Even though the farmers incur virtually no cost for producing the crop, last year we purchased the peas at Rs 25 per kg from them and then sold the same for Rs 200 per kg in Japan and Hong Kong," said Singh.
Company officials say Himachal Pradesh's cool environs are more suited for growing this high quality pea variety as compared to Punjab.
Production is likely to rise significantly here in the coming years as more farmers are showing interest in cultivating this vegetable that is in huge demand in the Far East.
Currently the bulk of the production is in neighbouring Punjab but Himachal Pradesh has far more growth potential, say experts.
Sirmaur district is already the largest producer of ginger and garlic in the state.