Cakes might not be part of the food culture of many Maharashtra farmers, but they have innovated a bite of deliciousness. Even as the ‘Fruit cake’ movement takes root in Maharashtra, farmers in Purandar taluka of Pune district have innovated a ‘guava cake’.
Joining hands with Pune’s famous Kayani Bakery, the farmers of Purandar have introduced the ‘Purandar Peru (guava) cake’ with the unique taste of the local variety of red guava.
“Red guava spread is made from the Ratnadeep guava, which is only found in this region and is traditionally grown by our farmers here. Rustom Kayani mentored us in the preparation of spreads since the time this was discussed as a concept eight months ago,” says Rohan Ursal, Chairman of the Purandar Highlands Farmers Producers Company (PHFPC).
Kayani Bakery, which is famous for its Shrewsbury biscuits, received an enthusiastic response to the Purandar Peru Cake launched in the Pune market. Guava growers are creating a new customer base. Cakes with real mango flavour are already popular in the market. Farmers have tried their hand at guava ice cream and now there is a guava cake.
The guava cake is another milestone for the PHFPC, which is working to ensure that the local fruit enters national and international markets, besides the processing of fruits helps farmers.
In April this year, fresh figs from Purandar were exported to Germany and commercial consignments will start from January 2023. Even though the FPC was registered in 2021, a group of farmers started working on fig and custard apples about five years ago. PHFPC is a start-up recognised by the Union Government.
Fruit cake movement
Last year, fruit farmers in the State innovated a new kind of birthday cake made up of layers of fresh watermelon, papaya and musk melon. These healthy cakes are decorated with some cream and lots of strawberries, grapes and mango slices. The farmers are busy trying to convince friends and family members that the “fruit cake” is a healthy option to celebrate happy moments in life.
“Farmers will have to create a market for their own products. Innovation in the cultivation and selling of products is the key. Processing of farmers’ produce is vital to ensure that they get the appropriate price for their hard work. This is important when it comes to perishable commodities like fruits,” said S S Pawar a farmer and member of an FPC in Sangli.