Walk through the strawberry farms of Lambasingi, bring home a bottle of jam

Lambasingi in Vizag Agency is always a favourite weekend getaway for tourists during winter. It got its nickname “Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh” as temperatures here drop to zero degrees during the cold season. It is located about 110 km from Vizag.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  26 Dec 2021 4:22 AM GMT
Walk through the strawberry farms of Lambasingi, bring home a bottle of jam

Lambasingi: The red strawberry farms of Lambasingi with their juicy and ripe fruits are a delightful sight. The cold and foggy weather only adds charm to this experience. Tourists are now flocking to the hill station to eat hand-picked strawberries and see the beautiful farms.

Lambasingi in Vizag Agency is always a favourite weekend getaway for tourists during winter. It got its nickname "Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh" as temperatures here drop to zero degrees during the cold season. It is located about 110 km from Vizag.

While Lambasingi is known for its scenic views, this winter it is the strawberry farms that are attracting visitors. Ever since the area started harvesting strawberries five years ago, there has been a good flow of tourists, especially during weekends.

According to the farmers, at least 5,000 tourists visit the strawberry farms during the weekends. "This season, the tourist rush started just a week ago. As the crop produces the best fruit at about 15-10°Celsius, the drop in temperatures is expected to give a good harvest by this month-end. At present, we harvest around 150-200 grams in a day," Bhaskar Raju of Teja Strawberries said.

Due to the losses incurred due to the pandemic, the farmers have increased the price to Rs. 100 per box and Rs. 500 per kg. According to the farm owners, the strawberry season usually starts in September and continues till March-April. December and January are the best times for a good crop.

Organic strawberry jam, a new favourite

The strawberry farms owners have now started making jams with the support of the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME). Under this scheme, the farmers get a subsidy of Rs. 3 lakh for the project investment of Rs. 10 lakh.

"As of now, we are making strawberry jam by hand and packing it in bottles. It takes two hours to prepare 10-15 kg of strawberry jam which is totally organic. Last season, we made 10,000 bottles of jam. This year we are expecting to increase production," said Bhaskar Raju.

Currently, the strawberry jam bottles prepared by the farm owners are sold to tourists who visit the area. Once they get financial support from banks to buy machinery, the farm owners are planning to export their products to other states. "These jam bottles are sold for Rs. 100 (250gm) and Rs. 200 (500gm). Apart from selling the fruits to the tourists, we use small and damaged fruits to make jam. Once the tourist season comes to an end and the crop yield goes low in May, we get damaged fruits that we use to make jam," added Bhaskar Raju.

The farmers are also trying to grow golden berries (Andhra strawberry), broccoli, zucchini, and red radish in the area.

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