Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are unique to hilly forest areas such as the Visakha Agency, or they are of good quality because of the climatic conditions and absence of pollution.

But growing grapes on the hills is something unimaginable.

A Girijan farmer has made this a reality nearly 15 years ago when he planted a small branch of grape creeper given to him by a seller at the MVP Colony in the city, in the front yard of his house at Killoguda village, about 6 km from the famous tourist centre Araku Valley.

It has grown into a thick creeper, covering a grilled canopy above the gate in the compound wall. Chedda Lakshman, who is now sarpanch, is reaping some benefit from the grapes creeper.

Now he wants to encourage other Girijan farmers to try raising grapes creepers in their fields.

He has prepared a nursery by planting pieces of grapes creeper and would give them to farmers.

There are some takes, he said.

Mr. Lakshman is ready to distribute the saplings, but only after his uncle comes to his house, recites a “mantram”.

Then the sarpanch hands over the sapling to the farmer.