By Lokendra Joshi, Darchula, Sept. 15: Dragon fruit farming has been introduced in the Naugad Rural Municiplaity-6 in Darchula district for the first time.
The farming of the dragon fruit, which is one of the cactus species, has kicked off with the joint investment of agriculture specialist Mahendra Singh Dhami, IT engineer Bhakta Singh Thaguwa and civil engineer Kailash Dhami.
Prakash Singh Dhami, an agricultural technician, informed that the youths started the dragon fruit farming for the first time by registering a company named Green Land Agriculture and Livestock Farm.
Mahendra Singh Dhami, an agronomist, said that the farming was started by renting 1,800 square kilometers of land from a local Dan Singh Dhami.
In the first phase, 800 saplings have been requested from Rautahat with the financial assistance of Rs. 200,000 from Naugad Rural Municipality and planted in the field
For the four saplings, one pole is sufficient so 200 poles has been set up on the ground in the initial phase of the farming.
As I studied agriculture and have some knowledge I thought why not invest in the sector I know and contribute to its development, said agronomist expert Dhami.
The youths have started the business with more than eight lakhs rupees investment. The dragon fruit will give its fruit only after two years, he added.
On the very situation of the brain drain in the country, we have started the business with the aim of doing something in the agriculture sector which is our field of study as well, said Dhami, a technician in the farm.
They claim to have cultivated dragon fruit for the first time in the hilly districts of the far west.
Farming has been started with the help of Naugad Rural Municipality Office and Ward 5 and 6 of the same RM.
Prem Singh Dhami, Chairperson of the Naugad Rural Municipality, who visited the village along with a team of people's representatives and employees last Saturday, said that he was impressed by the thinking and work of the youth and expressed his commitment to help the villagers to commercialize dragon fruit.
Chairman Dhami said that there is a lot of potential for agricultural development in the region. The rural municipality family has also received encouragement as more expert groups have started their own business.
There is a good national and international market for the dragon fruit. It can be sold at the rate of Rs. 1,000 per kg.
Prakash Kumar Panta, head of the Krishi Gyan Kendra (Agriculture Knowledge Center), Darchula, said that the dragon fruit is considered as a miraculous fruit to boost up immunity and increase strength and energy in the body.
The dragon fruit is also called a super food because it contains all the elements needed by the human body and many medicinal properties and is very juicy and delicious," said Panta.
Mahendra Dhami, agronomist, said, “If the production and consumption of the dragon fruit can be increased then it will give ample of benefits.”