INDIA: Techies turn horticulturists to develop model guava farm

by Aparna Iyer, Times of India


Three engineers and a textile chemist have come together to create a horticulture farm that is turning out to be a model for farmers. Striking a balance between traditional and modern farming, they have reaped a rich harvest of guavas in less than 18 months.


Besides using drip irrigation, bagging of growing fruits and organic manure made in the farm, the group introduced various bacteria at different stages of growth. Now, Prerna Farm at Sunderpura near Vadodara also has the distinction of being the second-largest guava orchard in the state with over 10,500 plants. The guavas can weigh up to 1kg each with the average being 300gm or 400gm a piece.


The bacteria are especially cultured and provided to the plants at regular intervals to facilitate growth and help them absorb the nutrients better. They also incorporate the age-old technique of using ‘Prernamrut’ – a formulation of cow dung and cow urine.


“We tied unique fruit protection bags made of non-woven fabric around the fruits when they were about one inch in size. This gave protection from harsh sunlight allowing air permeability, reducing moisture along with protecting the fruits from rodents and birds,” said Shyam Bedekar, the textile chemist.


“The farm has a high density plantation thereby reducing water wastage and facilitating equal distribution of nutrients. The bacteria, fertilizers and water are made available through drip irrigation. Professional management has enabled us to succeed in our efforts,” said Santosh Bhadsavle, an engineer who has a unit in Makarpura GIDC.


“We have reaped a rich harvest of VNR Bihi Guava, a variety from Thailand, in a very short period. Apart from guava we have also planted 1,400 pomegranate plants,” said Kirtesh Patel another partner. Farmers from around Sunderpura and even other parts of the state visit the farm to get an insight into the techniques adopted there.


Source: Times of India

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