Sowing Seeds Of Cucumber And Hope

Under the blazing sun of southern India, agronomist Lanka Venkateshwarao casts a practiced eye on the small fields around Kondapur, a dusty collection of sturdy stone-roofed houses and thatched cowsheds. Traditionally, the villagers of Kondapur, 60 miles west of Hyderabad, have scratched out a living by growing chickpeas, peanuts, and a few vegetables, as well as the spice turmeric. But this year, a handful of farmers are planting a portion of their fields with a different crop--cucumbers. Venkateshwarao's employer, VST Natural Products Ltd., promises to buy their output, which will be used to make kosher pickles for markets in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.