Jashpur, Jan 3 (PTI) The tribal-dominated Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh, which is known for cashew, chilli, potato and other cash crop farming, will see apple cultivation on a trial basis, a senior official said on Sunday.
The trial will held on 10 acres of government land in Pandrapath, located around 70 kilometres from here, and cultivation may be expanded based on results, the official said.
'Agro-climatic conditions of Pandrapath, nestled in hills at a height of around 1200 meters above sea level, is favorable for growing low-chilling varieties of apples,' Jashpur Collector Mahadev Kawre told PTI.
This variety flowers and bears fruits in the second to third year itself while it takes five to six years in the high chilling ones, he said.
'In view of the good results of cultivation of this variety of apple in Mainpat in neighbouring Surguja district, where geo-climatic conditions are similar to Pandrapath, we have decided to replicate it here', he said.
As part of a horticulture project, the district administration is developing a green park sprawled over 100 acres in Pandrapath where pear, litchi, vegetables etc will be grown along with apple, he added.
'We will plant 1600 apple saplings in January-end and women self help groups (SHGs) will be involved in cultivation after getting training. A fund of Rs 22 lakh is earmarked for the project,' he said.
Farmers have been cultivating pear, litchi, chilli, potato in parts of Jashpur in north Chhattisgarh, located 400 kilometres from capital Raipur, and fetching good income, Kawre said.
Experts from Indira Gandhi Agriculture University Raipur and Solan-based university in Himachal Pradesh are providing technical guidance for the project, for which apple saplings will be procured from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, he added. PTI COR TKP BNM BNM