Apple experiment in Vadodara huge Success for Farmer

  • | Tuesday | 8th June, 2021

Stationery seller-turned-experimental farmer has succeeded in growing Apples that’s a native of cold places, mostly Himachal Pradesh.

People visiting the farm of Girish Patel in Vemar village near Vadodara rub their eyes in disbelief. For, Patel asserts that small green fruits they see growing on a number of trees are actually apples.

In blistering hot Gujarat, this stationery seller-turned-experimental farmer has succeeded in growing the fruit that’s a native of cold places, mostly Himachal Pradesh.

Patel’s orchard has 220 apple trees and each can bear 30-40 kg apples. “I handed over my thriving stationery business in Karjan to my son and took up farming. While searching for something new, I got to know about Hariman 99 variety of apples and got the saplings delivered from Jaipur,” Patel told TOI.

“This variety has been tried in other states too quite successfully,” added Patel, who also has mango and guava plantations.

The saplings are not difficult to maintain. “One has to ensure that the land where they are sown has a slope and water does not get accumulated around the saplings. I learnt this the hard way after losing some plants,” Patel said.

He added that the routine regime of manure, pesticides and watering is sufficient for the plants.
The orchard bore fruits for the first time last year, but Patel had to remove the flowers and fruits as the plants were too young. This time too he has done the same thing, but is allowing a few apples to grow as a samples.

A farmer in Kutch had also tried, but failed in the first trial. “He is trying again and some other farmers from Kutch have also contacted me,” said Patel.
In fact, when horticulture department officials were keen to give subsidy to a farmer in Vadodara, they were in for a surprise as the crop did not exist on their list.

Patel pointed out that while he had not applied for any aid, the horticulture department offered him subsidy. “I said I was not keen if it involved lots of efforts. I was assured that there would be no hassles,” he said.

But then a strange situation emerged when the officials got back to him saying apples were not on their list. “This was expected as no one grew them and it was not a local crop too. I told them it was fine if I did not get the subsidy, but they have assured that they will ensure that I get it,” he said.

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