The season of summer fruits has officially begun, along with the watermelon and grape mela by Horticulture Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society Ltd. (HOPCOMS).
The mela has been organised by HOPCOMS with the Department of Horticulture and was inaugurated by Horticulture Minister S.A. Ravindranath here on Wednesday. Customers can avail themselves of a 10 per cent discount on both fruits at the mela.
“The government has set aside Rs. 50 crore in the budget to strengthen HOPCOMS and Rs. 1,310 crore for the horticultural sector,” the Minister said.
Grapes and melons will be sold at HOPCOMS stalls in Bangalore over the next two and a half months. In addition, 30 mobile stalls will be set up in the city.
“We want to supply watermelon and grapes at subsidised rates to the customers at the mela,” said Doddakende Gowda, Managing Director of HOPCOMS.
While grapes will cost between Rs. 26 and Rs. 98 a kg, the price of watermelon will range from Rs. 12 to Rs. 14 a kg.
Watermelon aficionados will find three varieties of the fruit at the mela: Arkamanik, Kiran and Sugarbaby. As for grapes, customers will find 11 varieties available, including Thomson seedless, Sonaka, Sharad, Krishna Sharad, Tas-A-Ganesh, Indian Black Globe, Red Globe, Flame seedless, Manik Chaman, Bangalore Blue and Dilkush.
In 2011–2012, around 459.32 tonnes of grapes and 1,062 tonnes of watermelon were sold.
This year, HOPCOMS hopes to sell around 750 tonnes of grapes and 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of watermelon.