Kolkata: A farmer from Tufanganj 2 block of Cooch Behar district has successfully cultivated strawberry in his field and earned accolades from agricultural experts and local people. And after having succesful expermint, bengal govt has taken the initiative of strawberry production.
Dipak Chandra Das, a resident of Banshraja village, had planted strawberry plants in a portion of his field two months back. Recently, the plants had borne fruits and Das is happy harvesting the first yield.
Farmers are smiling at the prospects of profitability from the trial run of strawberry farming undertaken by the Bengal Government’s Agriculture Department, and are looking forward to this alternative crop.
In the first lot, Das had planted around 150 saplings, all of which have yielded the fruit. With the idea turning into a success, Das is now thinking of increasing his area of strawberry cultivation.In 2016, Das was honoured with “Krishak Samman” by the state government for his unique idea of farming. He owns around eight bighas of land in the village.
The fruit is cultivated in some stretches of the Darjeeling hills but is a rare in the plains. A kilo of strawberry fetches around Rs 350 to Rs 400 in the local wholesale market, said sources.
The field with small green plants, some with ripe red berries and some with ripening ones, seems to be a location in the hills. But no, this field basking in the golden sunlight is in Bagnan in Howrah district!
The experiment has been carried out by the Agriculture section of Gopalpur Block I office, and the results have indicated profits for the farmers. About 5,000 strawberries can be produced from one bigha of land.
At first, farmers were sceptical over whether the climate and conditions in South Bengal would suit strawberry cultivation. But those worries have been set at rest with the outcome of the initiative. They can now feel confident about going ahead with growing this sought-after and delicious berry.