- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Strawberry cultivation in Tripura had increased significantly after the ruling BJP government, led by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, promoted self-sufficiency in a big way across the state.
In a bid to double the income of farmers and get more people involved in production of various fruits and vegetables, significant measures were initiated during the regime of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Accordingly, the farming and cultivating of various new fruits like strawberries, grapes, apple ber, etc. had increased in the last four years across Tripura. It is found that the farmers’ involved in these productions are quite happy with the profit as well.
Strawberries are cultivated in various countries in the South, East and Southeast Asian countries as this fruit needs mild temperate climatic conditions for production. As the demand for strawberries is high across the country, this fruit is commercially cultivated and produced in different states of India.
The demand for strawberries has grown impressively in Tripura. Although non-professional gardeners are cultivating few numbers of strawberries at home, but the demand in state is supported by exporting this fruit from other states.
Aiming to cultivate strawberry fruit commercially in the soil of Tripura, the Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation under the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had initiated various steps.
At the Horticultural Fruit Research Center at Nagichara area in the outskirts of Agartala city, experiments of cultivating strawberries have been done for the last three years. In a plot of land, strawberries have been cultivated this year also.
Subrata Chowdhury, an Agricultural official said “This year, strawberries have been cultivated in three ‘ganda’ of lands where a total of 720 saplings have been sowed in 12 beds and the gap between one tree to another is 45 centimetres.”
“On November 14, 2021, the trees were planted and after 45 days, strawberry fruits were collected from them. Altogether, three varieties of strawberries- Sweet Sensation, Florida Beauty and Winter Dawn have been cultivated this year”, he added.
Chowdhury said “These shoots produce fruits for more than two months. Strawberries are being collected every one or two days. A tree will bear 200 to 250 grams or more of fruit in one season which is the normal productive capacity of a tree”.
Accordingly, the experimental cultivation is fruitful and the soil of Tripura is suitable for cultivation of strawberries. In winter, it can be cultivated commercially. Consequently, the Horticultural Fruit Research Center will provide training to the farmers in cultivating this fruit in the days to come.
It is learned that the farmers from different areas in and around Nagicherra area visited the site of cultivation for training purposes throughout the year. Most are coming for strawberry cultivation and they are also noting down the required information.
The Agricultural official also asserted that these trees are not one timers. Rather, new saplings are made from the fruit and shoots as well. Later, these saplings can be sold commercially to the strawberry lovers willing to cultivate this fruit.