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Mini cucumbers continue to gain popularity in India
“No more than seven years ago, there were hardly any mini cucumbers available in India”, Hariyabbe Shivalingappa Siddartha, Product Development Specialist of Rijk Zwaan India explains. “The Indian market was mainly focused on the outdoor cultivation of seeded bi-colour cucumber varieties with a bitter taste. However, there was a demand for new segments. That’s when we introduced the mini cucumber; bitter free, with less to no seeds and suitable for protected cultivation.”
Demand for higher quality
The mini cucumber turned out to be a perfect addition to the cucumber assortment. “Snack vegetables are gaining popularity in India”, says Siddartha. “But the mini cucumber is also very suitable for salads. The trend for a more healthy diet has set in. Retailers are demanding high quality varieties to offer their consumers. Consumers value excellent vegetables and are willing to pay for it.”
From engineer to farmer
To anticipate these trends, Rijk Zwaan India assists growers in making the transition to the cultivation of mini cucumbers and subsequently improving their growing methods. But the success also catches the eye of other professionals. Manjunath is a former engineer who turned to farming after seeing the rise of Rijk Zwaan’s mini cucumber. In the Bangalore area he grows 10 hectares for the local market. “The quality and the fruit finishing are excellent”, Manjunath says. “My yields are high and harvesting requires only limited labour. I’m grateful that Rijk Zwaan has assisted me in taking the necessary steps to become a farmer. I can now expand my business and make a contribution to the Indian food supply.”
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