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'A 10-year-old Kiwi plant gives more income than food grains produced in 10 ropani land': story of a Kiwi farmer



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By Nabin Shishir BK, Baglung, Nov. 22: There are cement and iron poles all over the field, and bunches of kiwifruits are hanging in the vines of the kiwifruit that have been trained up on each and every post..

This is the view of the charming kiwi farm of a 61-year-old elderly. Everyone is attracted with the commercial kiwi farming of Santa Bahadur Budhathoki of Dudilavati Chauraha at Galkot Municiplaity-1 in Baglung district.

Budhathoki, who was identified as hoteliers till six years back, is now known as kiwi farmer.

Budhathoki spent his 25 years of life as a driver in India and then he switched to hotel business.  He ran a hotel in Kothekhola Rural Municipality, Bihu for the whole 12 years. However, now, we can see him in the commercial kiwi farm business.

After reaching Illam, he saw the beautiful farm land, and got inspired to start his own kiwi planation on 10 ropani of land,

Bunches of kiwifruit can now be seen in Bhathoki's farmland where millet, wheat, maize and corn used to be planted in the past.

A 10-year-old kiwi plant yields more production than the crops produced in 10 ropani of land. If you are diligent and work hard in the land, there is no problem to be self-reliant, said Budhathoki.

Production had started three years after plantation.

I expect it to produce about 10 quintals of kiwi from 135 plants this year as it is running in its sixth year, he said.

 In the coordination to Kiwi businessmen, Budhathoki, has been sending his kiwis to Pokhara, Butwal, Narayanghat and Baglung market for sale.

The traders come and take the kiwi from the farm at minimum of Rs. 350 a kilo, said Budathoki.

It is easy to cultivate kiwi as it’s less tedious than other planation.

Budhathoki shared that around Rs. 2.8 million has been spent for the purchase of plants, construction of iron and cement poles and construction of gardens.

Budathoki has registered Choraha Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Firm.

His farm has Monty, Hellison and Hayward species of Kiwi.

He has a plan to expand the sale and cultivation by producing seedlings in his own nursery from next year.

"There is a growing interest and attraction in kiwi farming now," he said.

There will not be any problem to start one's own business if one is ready to pour one's sweat in kiwi farming, he added.

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