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Friday, May 29, 2009

Gujrat Farmers on new spin-Foreign Origin Crops

The German Gerkins crop was recently introduced in Kheda district by farmers and is ready to fly to European destinations.Taiwanese papaya, American maize,Japanese watermelon and now German gherkins. Crops of foreign origin are helping farmers in Gujarat rake in big moolah. German gherkins, the latest addition to the list, are known for use as salad.Gujarat has successfully translated the adoption of modern farming practices to reap rich harvest. The agriculture sector in the state stood at a whopping Rs 48,000 crore during 2008-09 as against Rs 9,000 crore during 2004-05.the state will have at least one lakh hectare of land under the drip irrigation system by 2010. Currently, 57,000 hectares of land are under drip irrigation system.The farmers of Savli and Bodeli in Vadodara district took to contract farming of Japanese Watermelon Nearly 400 acres have been acquired in Patdi taluka of Surendranagar district for this purpose.German gherkins were introduced between Nadiad and Chaklasi area in Kheda district last month. One acre of produce of this crop fetches Rs 1 lakh to farmers.The production is available within 35 days from the date of sowing. The gherkins are exported to around 18 countries. Besides Kheda, Farmers plan to encourage the farming of German Gherkins in Rajkot and Deesa (Banaskantha district).
Earlier, Jamnagar experimented with banana farming that fetches Rs 140 for 20 kg, which is an amount much higher as compared to traditional crops.As compared to Saurashtra, the sandy soil in Kutch was better suited for long-term farming required for horticulture products like mango and pomegranate.The mango tree bears fruit within two years in Kutch, compared to three to four years in Talala (Gir) Junagadh in Saurashtra. In order to promote horticulture-based farming in the Kutch region, one NGO in Mandvi now encourages farmers by offering subsidy in the form of free supplies of saplings.


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