Shimoga (Shivamogga), popularly called the ‘Rice Bowl of Karnataka’ is a picture-perfect lush green landscape dotted with waterfalls, paddy fields and palm groves. The waters of the Tungabhadra, Sharavati, Varada and Kumudavathi rivers and fertile alluvial soil contribute largely to the excellent agricultural produce of this district.
Shimoga district is famous for its paddy, coconut, pepper, areca nut, maize, ginger, cashew, cardamom, vanilla, chillies, tomato and fruits like watermelon, mango, banana, sapota and others. Commercial crops like sugarcane and cotton are grown by small and marginal farmers for additional income.
The most delectable produce of Shimoga district is the pineapple grown in Soraba and Sagar taluks. It is estimated that over 2,500 hectares of land is under pineapple cultivation with an average annual production of 155 MT and average productivity per hectare of 62.67.
The leading commercial variety Kew is grown across the region and valued for its big size, oblong shape, light yellow flesh and high juice content. Most of the produce is purchased by food processing units in North India.
Pineapples grown in this district are sold in nearby Kerala and in the markets of Mumbai and Delhi. The demand for pineapple reaches an all-time peak in the beginning of February.
Soraba pineapple is a good source of Vitamin A, B and C, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. It is consumed fresh or in the form of canned slices, juice, jam, squash, syrup and used in baked goods and confectionery.
What sets the Soraba pineapple apart from other varieties grown across India is that it is deliciously juicy and soft and just melts in your mouth! It is very common to see small stalls set up under shady trees as one drives down from Shivamogga to Soraba.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)