By Chandra Pandak,Taplejung, Sept. 21: Apples have started bearing fruits at Ghunsa and Phale of Lelep of Phaktanglung Rural Municipality-6, in Taplejung district, six months after they were planted.
Apple saplings brought from Italy and planted at Ghunsa and Phale, the entry point of the Kanchenjunga base camp, were planted. The area receives heavy snowfall throughout the winter.
The Fuji and Golden Delicious apples were brought from Italy and planted as a trial.
The samplings of the apple of the two species were brought and planted in coordination with Manang Agro Farm,
The local farmers of Phale and Ghunsa are happy after the apple trees started bearing fruit within a short time of planting. They are hopeful that apple cultivation in their area would be successful.
Mingma Sherpa, a local farmer in Phale, said that he was confident that apple cultivation would be successful.
Similarly, a local of Ghunsa, Pema Sherpa, claimed that the trial cultivation was successful for the first time.
According to him, the experimental cultivation has given hope to Ghunsa farmers who are planning to cultivate apples commercially.
About two to three years ago, the soil of the two locations was taken to Switzerland and tested with the plan to cultivate apples.
Mingma Dandu Sherpa, a local of Ghunsa, informed that the apple was cultivated this year after it was found possible to grow it after the soil test.
According to Sherpa, who is a young politician and has been involved in social service, the trial cultivation was done by planting 40 apple plants each in Ghunsa and Phale.
According to him, the apples produced in the initial test cultivation have to be observed for up to three years to determine whether the cultivation will be completely successful.
He said, “Since the initial test was successful, it is expected that the final test will be suitable for apple cultivation here.”
Phale lies at an altitude of 3,232 metres while Ghunsa is at 3,475 metres above sea level