The Kala Badshah variety of guava from Rajasthan is offering competition to the other varieties of the fruit from Prayagraj and Lucknow and making local farmer rich, say the growers of the fruit. In two blocks of Bharatpur, at least 500,000 guava trees have increased the income of farmers manifold.
Lupin Human Welfare and Research Foundation, a non government organisation (NGO), had introduced farmersi in Bharatpur to guava cultivation in 1997 by providing them saplings from Lucknow and Prayagraj, two Uttar Pradesh towns famous for this fruit.
“We brought 5,000 saplings from Uttar Pradesh for farmers in Weir and Bhusawar blocks of the district. The fruit in these areas has a light black colour, earning it the moniker of Kala Badshah. Otherwise, the variety is named L-49,” said foundation’s director Sitaram Gupta.
It takes a guava tree around 10 years to fruit, he said.
Around 100 saplings are planted in one acre and after the fruiting begins, farmers earn Rs 2.5 lakh from one acre, said Dwarka Prasad Goyal, a guava farmer in Chhokarwara. “The input cost is Rs 12,000 on irrigation. Guava orchards need three rounds of irrigation and some fertilizers,” he added.
In traditional rabi and kharif crops, these farmers make only Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000 from an acre because of the high input cost and low production, said an official of the district agriculture department.
At Siras village in Weir block, there are three nurseries each with 2,000 plants to provide saplings to farmers in the two blocks. The village with 900 households has cultivated guava on 166 acres.
“The L-49 variety of guava is famous across the country for its taste. Guava has increased our earnings manifold,” said Bhagwat Singh Dhakad, a farmer.
Farmers supply their produce to fruit markets in New Delhi. They now want a mandi (fruit and vegetable market) in the district.
Gupta says the foundation has requested the Rajasthan government to set up a mandi and food processing centres in the district to further augment farmers’ income.
Jul 18, 2019 11:58 IST