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  • A ‘sticky’ success story

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    July 11th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy
    Bumper harvest: Avinash Kora of Koppal district has successfully grown drumstick as an intercrop. Photo by Author

    Bumper harvest: Avinash Kora of Koppal district has successfully grown drumstick as an intercrop. Photo by Author

    Avinash Kora, a young farmer from Narasapura village of Yelburga taluk in Koppal district, has successfully experimented with agroforestry. He has planted horticulture and forest species like lemon, guava, custard apple, jamun, red sandalwood, hebbevu and sandalwood in his six-acre farm. The plants are nine months old. Marigold is grown in an area of two acres. A farm pond (30X40 feet) is also constructed in this part of the land.

    There is a gap of eight feet between the rows of fruit plants. Six months ago, Avinash decided to grow drumstick in this area. He sowed the seeds directly on the farm. Almost all the seeds sprouted and grew into healthy plants. Drumstick is a perennial crop and once planted, it yields for five years. In Avinash’s farm, the crop was ready for harvest after four months. Since then, he has been harvesting drumstick once every three days. This is the first season of harvest and he has got a yield of 300 to 450 pieces per plant. Generally, drumstick is harvested twice a year and the harvest season spans over two months.

    With neat packing (10 kg packs) and proper transportation, the produce remains fresh for hours, and thus fetches good price. Proper packing and identifying the right sale point are the other aspects that have helped him reap rich rewards from drumstick cultivation. Initially, he sent the produce to the local market. But since he didn’t get a good price there, he contacted a vegetable exporter in Belagavi after a quick online search. Now he sells two to three tonnes of harvest every week, and money is transacted online.

    “Everything is going on smoothly. Quality produce coupled with proper grading, packing and transportation go a long way in helping farmers get the right price. Hence, it is time we farmers understand that post-harvest management is as important as choosing the right crops and practicing healthy cultivation methods. Also, we should be more enterprising and take the initiative to sell our produce to the consumers directly,” he says. While he has spent Rs 40,000 on cultivation, he has earned Rs 3 lakh through sales in this season.

    This is not the first time Avinash has experimented with minor crops. In the first four months of setting up the farm, he had grown marigold and toor dal as intercrops and earned good money.

    “Drumstick grows well in almost all types of soil. The agro-climatic conditions of this region are suitable for growing drumstick,” says Linganagouda Patil, assistant director of Horticulture Department in Koppal.

    Kishan Rao Kushtagi
    (Translated by AP)

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by Kishan Rao Kushtagi / July 11th, 2017

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