By : Isha Sharma
The beautiful state, Himachal Pradesh is the fruit basket for the country. Many exotic fruits like apple, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots, almonds, plums, pomegranate, strawberries etc are cultivated here. Another outlandish fruit which is Kiwi, is now also seen in the orchards of Himachal.
People are switching to Kiwi cultivation instead of traditional apple cultivation. Mid-hills and valleys of Solan, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kullu and Shimla districts are ideally suited for kiwi cultivation. An expert from horticulture believes that its good initiative towards crop diversification and also profitable for the farmers. In few areas of Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts, the apple production has sinked because of climatic changes, and this climatic change had turned fortunate for kiwi cultivation as cash crop.
This exotic fruit is usually planted in the month of January and February and can be harvested from October to December. Hayward, Abbot, Allison, Monty and Bruno are basically the varieties which are grown here in our state.
An estimation of Horticulture department says that almost 200 farmers have taken-up kiwi cultivation alone in Kullu valley. Farmers are even getting support for establishing Kiwi fruit orchards.
Growing of Kiwi was started almost 12 years back on experimental basis, but at that time there were hardly any buyers. Farmers did not loose their patience and the process continued which resulted in tremendous profit. But now its demand have risen in fruit markets of Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai etc. Even in local markets people are earning good as tourists gets attracted towards them.