With the increasing demand for strawberries due to their delicious taste and medicinal value, farmers in Chhattisgarh are opting for this fruit’s cultivation. The district of Jashpur, Ambikapur, and Balrampur are seeing a growing number of farmers planting strawberries.
The horticulture department is providing technical guidance and support under the National Horticulture Mission.
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The Advantages of Strawberry Farming:
Strawberry farming requires only cold weather and is much more profitable than paddy farming. Unlike paddy, it requires less water, and care and can be grown on normal land with normal irrigation. A farmer can earn 8-9 times more from strawberries than from paddy.
Success Story in Jashpur:
In Jashpur, 25 farmers have taken up strawberry farming on 6 acres of land. They planted Winter Dawn variety saplings in October and started getting good yields by December.
These farmers earn an income of 40 to 70 thousand rupees. With a possibility of producing 3000 kg of strawberries per farmer, a total of 75,000 kg of strawberries is likely to be produced by all farmers.
Farmer Dhaneshwar Ram’s Experience:
Jashpur’s farmer Dhaneshwar Ram shared his experience of how he turned his barren land into a profitable venture with the help of experts and NABARD.
He planted 2000 strawberry plants in a field of 25 decimals and started getting good yields within three months. He is now earning Rs. 400 per kg of strawberries and has an income of 70 thousand rupees. He has received mulching and technical support from the National Horticulture Mission.
Step by Step Guide to Strawberry Farming:
- Site Selection: Choose a suitable site with well-drained soil and adequate sunlight. The site should have access to water and cold weather, which is crucial for strawberry farming.
- Soil Preparation: Prepare the soil by adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, to improve soil fertility. The soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5 for optimal growth.
- Irrigation: Install a proper irrigation system to ensure an adequate water supply for the plants. Strawberry plants require regular watering, especially during fruiting.
- Choosing Strawberry Varieties: Select strawberry varieties suitable for your area and growing conditions. Winter Dawn is a popular variety in Chhattisgarh.
- Planting: Plant the strawberry saplings in rows, spaced appropriately, and water them immediately after planting.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Fertilizing: Fertilize the plants regularly with a balanced fertilizer to ensure proper growth and fruiting.
- Pruning and Training: Prune and train the plants to encourage proper growth and fruiting.
- Pest Management: Monitor the plants regularly for pests and diseases and take appropriate action if necessary.
- Harvesting: Harvest the strawberries when they are fully ripe and have a deep red color. Handle the fruits carefully to avoid damaging them.
- Marketing: Pack and sell the strawberries, either through Haritkrati Adivasi Sahakari Samiti or directly to local markets.
By following these steps, farmers in Chhattisgarh and other regions can successfully cultivate strawberries and reap the benefits of this lucrative business.
Strawberry farming is a lucrative business for farmers in Chhattisgarh and is attracting many due to its high-income potential and low maintenance requirements. With the right guidance and support, farmers are reaping the benefits of this fruit’s cultivation.