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Food & Beverage

Curry company tries its hand at growing Thai veggies in Japan

Yamamori determined to supply restaurants with fresh lemon grass and holy basil

Green, golf ball-size Thai eggplant is essential to authentic curries but difficult to grow in Japan. Nevertheless, retort pouch curry maker Yamamori intends to do just that. (Photo by Tensei Tani)

NAGOYA -- Kenichi Hotta, a 35-year-old farmer in the city of Yokkaichi, in Japan's Mie Prefecture, has been growing eggplant for years now, but a new variety is giving him fits.

He has been contracted by a food maker to grow ma-khua, or Thai eggplant, but has found it to be more vulnerable to disease and soil bacteria than its Japanese cousins. "More than 10 plants have died so far," he said. "Japanese eggplant is much easier to grow."

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