Seen this golden fruit in backyard? You'll be shocked to know how much it cost

Cape gooseberry
Cape gooseberry. Photo: Shutterstock/Noi Pattanan

Many of us may have encountered this vivid green plant with its bright yellow fruits growing abundantly in our backyards, a favourite among children as popping them makes good pastime. Interestingly, the golden berries that have gained popularity on social media belong to the same family. Loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and protein, these golden berries are considered a superfood. Moreover, their rising demand has made golden berry farming a highly profitable venture, with a single fruit costing up to Rs 20 in some countries.

However, the potential of golden berry farming remains relatively untapped among Keralites. Yet, this scenario is changing rapidly due to the fruit's remarkable nutritional properties and its increasing demand in the international market. One such success story is that of Jose George, a native of Vellayamkudi in Kattapana, who has turned golden berry farming into a lucrative business within a few months.

Golden berries
The golden berries cultivated by Jose George from Vellayamkudi in Kattapana. photo: Karshakasree

According to Jose, golden berries can be consumed as a natural remedy for gastric troubles and acidity. He personally attests to their health benefits, claiming to have cured a prolonged cough that he contracted during the COVID-19 outbreak by regularly consuming golden berries. The positive experiences of those who tried the golden berries at least once prompted others to seek them out, emphasizing their amazing medicinal properties.

Jose's journey into golden berry farming began when he discovered that tribal communities in his locality were collecting ground berries (njottanjodiyan - cape gooseberry) from the forest and selling them to exporters. Intrigued by the fruit's popularity in foreign countries, he bought saplings from the tribals and started growing them on leased land. Although initially unsuccessful in selling the fruits, Jose and his family began using and gifting them, realizing the incredible health benefits.

As word spread about the newfound fruit's health advantages, Jose's golden berries gained popularity in the neighbourhood and online through his YouTube videos. Orders started pouring in from outside Kerala and even abroad. Encouraged by the growing demand, Jose expanded his cultivation to a 40-cents land, yielding plump and tasty golden berries within three months.

Jose now receives orders for both fruits and seeds, even from foreign countries, which he fulfils through courier services. He charges Rs 200, including courier charges, for a pack of ten golden berries and sells a kilo for Rs 1,500 to those seeking them for their taste and health benefits. His successful venture has generated a substantial income of Rs 5 lakh.

Jose George
Jose George of Vellayamkudi in Kattapana, who has turned golden berry farming into a lucrative business within a few months.. Photo: Karshakasree

Despite his success, Jose doesn't actively promote golden berry farming on a commercial scale in India. He notes that only online orders have been profitable, and he advises those interested in growing golden berries to start small for domestic use. Jose believes that, in the future, the fruits could be grown commercially if the market in India improves.

With around thirty seeds in each golden berry fruit, Jose recommends growing a few plants at home as they require minimal care and are highly nutritious. He vouches for their medicinal properties, suggesting that including them in the regular diet can contribute to the overall health of family members.

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