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Weikfield Agro Products!  

An export oriented unit with a difference

Ashwin Malhotra posing with a can of mushrooms.The city based Weikfield Group has tied up with the leading US mushroom growers, Franklin Mushroom Farms and has set up an 100% Export Oriented Unit. The Company set up the plant two years ago at Bakori village, about 22 km from Pune.

The plant is set up on 32 acres of land, with a built up area of about four lakh square feet. It is capable of producing 300 tons of mushrooms per year. The total capital investment has been about Rs. 30 crore. The facilities in the plant include state-of-the-art technology, such as seven computer-controlled compost sterilized tunnels and 48 computerized climate controlled and air-conditioned mushroom growing rooms.

The entire range of Weikfield products.The factory can currently produce about 10 tons of mushrooms a day and about 300 tons a month, of which about 10-15% is sold in the domestic market.

According to the Managing Director, Ashwin Malhotra, the consumption of Mushroom in the country is around 1 % of the mushroom consumption per capita in developed countries like Australia, USA, Germany etc.

He said, "It is our company's goal to educate the Indian population in the nutritional and taste qualities of the mushroom, so as to make this delicacy regularly used in the Indian cuisine. Earlier mushroom was sold at Rs. 130 a kilogram as an exclusive and exotic vegetable. The company is now selling it for Rs. 60 a kilogram.We are working towards introducing products like mushroom salads, marinated mushrooms, mushroomsMalhotra in the mushroom growing rooms in different kinds of sauces. These products are currently in demand in all the developed countries of the world. The company plans to introduce similar products in the domestic market in the near future."

Malhotra added, "Our unit is the only one in the country that has an international standard spawn laboratory, which produces internationally quality spawn. The company has standardized its production and the factory also has an in-house process food department that manufactures sauces, pickles, chutneys, marinated mushrooms and other processed products."

By Rahul Surkund
Photographs - Hari Krishna

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