ICA India’s strawberry project in four villages won recognition when the farmers were awarded the Krushi Ratna (Farming Gems) trophy for their use of innovative methods in agriculture. Jai Maharashtra TV channel and Agrotech Monthly news gave the award in collaboration with the State and Central governments on Agriculture Day on the 1st July.
The Japanese strawberries, said to be the sweetest, are being grown in the villages of Khamboli, Katarkhadak, Andhale and Kemsewadi in Mulshi Talukha, Pune District in Maharashtra state.
The strawberries are grown using a hydroponic automated system inside polyhouses. About 30 women are employed there to help in planting and harvesting. The project partners are NEC Japan and GRA Japan and ICA Japan was the mediator.
After winning the Krushi Ratna award, the highest in agriculture, we received coverage on television and newspapers for our use of high-tech farming methods, which we believe are ready to be replicated in other villages. The project is carried out by the villagers themselves, and we visit and guide them from time to time. The strawberries are sold to hotels and individuals.