Strawberry Farming: Abdul Ahad Mir made his village ‘Strawberry Village’ by cultivating strawberries, earning good money
Increase in income of small-holding farmers with strawberry farming
Strawberry, this exotic fruit has become very popular in India in the last few years and it is also being cultivated a lot. Strawberry is in high demand in the market and it is also expensive. Many farmers across the country are earning good income by cultivating strawberries. Strawberry cultivation is a good option to earn more profit in less time. Strawberry cultivation changed the fortunes of his entire village along with Abdul Ahad Mir, a farmer from Jammu and Kashmir.
Changed life of small-holding farmers
Abdul Ahad Mir is a resident of Wanihama village in Jammu and Kashmir. Most of the farmers in this deprived hill village do not have enough land for cultivation. Most of the farmers here are small holding farmers. Little did they realize that nature had gifted them a climate in which the precious exotic fruits could be cultivated.
Abdul Ahad Mir was always in search of new ways to increase income. He met Horticulture Officer working under Technology Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture in North Eastern States and Hill States in 2004. He advised Abdul to take up strawberry cultivation, as the climate and soil of his village were suitable for its cultivation. Not only this, the Horticulture Officer also provided them with all the materials needed for farming.
Starting with the Chandler Variety
In 2004, Abdul planted Chandler variety of strawberries on an experimental basis in just one kanal of his farm. He grew it in polyhouse under protected cultivation. Due to good production in the first instance, he earned an income of 55 thousand rupees. Enthused by this, Abdul next planted strawberries in an area of 8 kanals. This earned him an income of 4.4 lakh. After the successful cultivation of strawberry, Abdul educated his fellow farmers about its cultivation and inspired them to plant this new crop. His efforts got a good response and other farmers also started cultivating it. This soon removed the financial constraints of the farmers of this village and now this village is also known as ‘Strawberry Village’.
Chandler is a variety grown in California. The Chandler variety is planted in mid-October. Its fruits are obtained from January to April. Its fruit is attractive and the skin is delicate.
How to cultivate Strawberry?
Strawberry is cultivated only in cold areas. Therefore, it is already being cultivated in the high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Strawberry cultivation is now being done successfully in many other states, thanks to protected cultivation or polyhouse. For a good crop of strawberries, temperature of 20 to 30 degree celsius is necessary. Higher temperatures cause damage to plants. Strawberry is usually sown in September-October, but in hilly areas it is sown only in February-March. It is planted in the beds. About 30 saplings should be planted in a row.
Plants begin to bear fruit only one and a half months after transplanting and continue to bear fruit for about 4 months, but it should be broken only when its colour becomes more than half red.
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