(Image for Representation)
BHOJPUR: The farmers in Bhojpur district are taking up commercial kiwi farming as the produces yield handsome income than other traditional farming of potato and maize.
Kiwi is a fruit which is native to China but it was massively cultivated in New Zealand. Also known as kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry, it owes it names from the Kiwi Bird-the national symbol of New Zealand, according to Britannica.
Once planted, a kiwi tree starts producing kiwis and it generally yields fruits for 30 to 40 years. Farmers in Bhojpur Municipality and Temkemaiyung Rural Municipality’s ward no 4 have begun commercial farming of this vitamin rich fruit.
Suraj Rai’s family has planted over 200 sampling of kiwi replacing maize. The plants yielded double production for the first time. Lately, the kiwi farming earns some Rs 500 thousand to Rs 600 thousand annually to the Rai family. He is expecting to double his annual income from kiwi farming in coming years.
He shared, “Maize and potato farming was not fetching us handsome income. Kiwi farming has been earning us a lucrative income over the years.”
He had brought the kiwi plants from Ilam district. Along with kiwi, cardamom and chilly plants could be grown in the same patch simultaneously. So, there is a higher prospect of income from commercial kiwi farming.
The fruit rich in Vitamin C and K is being sold in the local market for Rs 150 to Rs 300, according to Rai. Farmers like Rai are hopeful that their produces would get a bigger market as the Mid-Hill Highway construction process completes.
Rai said that his friends were also attracted towards commercial farming of this fruit. His friend Saroj Basnet admitted that by seeing the success of his friend, he was also making up his mind to take up kiwi farming.
According to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Bhojpur, the kiwi fruits can be grown at the elevations ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 metre. The alpine weather in the district is deemed suitable for kiwi farming which has a massive elevation difference (from 153 metre as the lowest elevation to 4,153 m from the sea level as the highest).