Telangana

Young farmer reaps riches by cultivating anjeer

Young farmer Katla Srinivas showing fig fruits on his fields in Thirmalapur village of Ramadugu mandal in Karimnagar district.

Young farmer Katla Srinivas showing fig fruits on his fields in Thirmalapur village of Ramadugu mandal in Karimnagar district.   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

He plans to provide nutritious food to people

A youth who quit his paying software job in Mumbai to return to his native village to take care of his parents has turned into a progressive farmer who has taken up cultivating fig (anjeer) and getting good income from it.

Though Katla Srinivas had no idea about cultivation as his father was a coal miner in the Singareni Collieries Company Limited, he learnt farming through media especially The Hindu and took up cultivation of fig, which is normally grown in countries like the USA, Turkey, Israel and Spain, among others, in his ancestral lands at Thirmalapur village in Ramadugu mandal.

Mr. Srinivas took up farming in order to provide nutritious food to his ailing parents. Two years ago when his parents were suffering from dengue the doctors advised him to add figs to their diet to help stop the falling platelet count and improve it.

This motivated him to become a farmer to produce healthy nutritious food to the people. After doing research on cultivation of anjeer, he secured around 1,000 plants from Raichur and planted them in his 2.5 acres of land on an experimental basis in the year 2019 and used drip irrigation system. He faced several hardships in nurturing them as the plant does not grow in hot weather conditions. He consulted agriculture scientists and used South Korean technology in cultivation by providing nutrients from various oils and eggs to the plant.

When the fruit started growing, the monkey and bird menace was another issue. He protected the crop by installing a plastic mesh to keep the birds away and guarded the fields from monkeys by using a public address system to make loud noises and maintained close surveillance. After 11 months, the trees started giving fruits, he is able to harvest 15 to 20 kgs of figs daily. He has been selling them at only ₹ 150 per kg.

To ensure a longer shelf life he started washing the fruit in vinegar and is marketing the fruit himself. His success in cultivating anjeer in the uplands has made him popular among the farmers and many of them visited his fields and appreciated him. TS Planning Board Chairman B. Vinod Kumar and Choppadandi legislator Sunke Ravishankar also visited the fields and tasted his figs and lauded his efforts.

“When I decided to cultivate anjeer, several farmers discouraged me saying that it would not grow in our country. I proved them wrong through my grit and determination. I am reaping riches when compared to any other commercial crop,” said Mr. Srinivas. ‘I am planning to produce anjeer jam and market it as there is good demand for its medicinal values,” he said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:33:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/young-farmer-reaps-riches-by-cultivating-anjeer/article31643311.ece

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