By: Mohan Lal Verma
Mr Satyajeet Negi who hails from Purbani village of Recong-Peo subdivision of Kinnuar district is a progressive farmer who has gained new feat in successful production of Peruvian underground Apple in the high altitude of the tribal district recently.
Talking about this new initiative Mr. Negi said that this brown colored fruit which is grown underground as name indicates, have unique food values owing to its low calories and rare medicinal contents. It could be grown successfully on high altitude of five thousand feet and more.
The fruit could be processed for manufacturing low calorie juice and chocolates fetching a price band of INR 200 to INR 300 per kilogram.
Setting up a new convention Mr. Negi got gestation production of forty to fifty kilograms as the weight of and size of fruit could vary in-between three hundred grams to one kilogram depending upon the climatic conditions.
The English name of this fruit is Yaccon and it could also be grown as an off-season fruit in different climates of the state. But it has been found out that it grows better at an altitude of five to six thousand feet from mean sea level.
Mr. Negi who is a former district Congress committee president, said that the dry foliage of this crop could be use as a fodder for domestic animals and cattle owing to its high protein properties.
Availing the seedlings and tubers of this fruit from a Nepal based farmer Mr. Negi learnt this skill after transplanting it at his high altitude remote orchards of Recong-Peo, Powari and Kanda area of Kinnuar district.
He said that production of normal apple earned him two thousand to twenty five hundred boxes but he thought of experimenting with this crop as a new innovation.
The farmers, who presented the sample of this fruit to state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here recently, assured to develop its new technique at Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forest University Solan at Nauni.
The state of Himachal Pradesh, which is known for off-season production of vegetables and fruits, contributes around INR 3000 crores towards the states Gross State Domestic Product as a more than one lakh hectare of total area is under the fruit production here in the state.