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Thirthahalli Farmers’ Petha, A Tremendous effort to help distressed Ash Gourd Farmers at the time of COVID-19

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

It’s very interesting to observe how entrepreneurships have been linked at best on par with farmers in the midst of anxiety and paranoia  of COVID- 19 ,to wipe their unending tears. This story is about farmers in Thirthahalli growing 2,000tonnes of Ash gourd grown at Thirthahalli and it did not have takers due to Corona crisis. Ash gourds from these regions are best for making Agra Petha and that meant a travel to of 2,000 kms which was impossible due to lockdown conditions imposed.

Farmers were very worried over the fact that they did not have any alternative to sell ash gourd for and this created a wave of thoughts in the minds of many responsible persons around. Among them were MLA AragaJnanendra, Tahshildar Dr Shreepad S.D, Senior Horticulture officers and a young entrepreneur Vishwanath Kuntuvally, of Ibbani Food Industries was requested to make trials on ‘Petha’ production.

In the South Agra Pethas are well known and usually every trip to North India the Agra Pethas are a must buy.  For the South its always been a delicacy as none of them have tried making Pethas. It is so heard that it’s a laborious process, like three days for one round!

Within a week, Vishwanath made trial and error and was successful in petha production. “Its really tasty and better than Agra one. The dream of a farmers’ groups making Petha at Thirthahalli and marketing it from here”, hopes MLA AragaJnanendra.  The Very thought of selling Ash gourds at 2 Rs was upsetting says the MLA when at normal times they get 25 Rs/ Kilo. The well wishers linked the farmers with an entrepreneur and very soon the entrepreneur will be linked with market and we will soon get to taste Thirthahalli Pethas.

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