1. Agriculture World

61-year-old Tamil Nadu Farmer Grows 32 Varieties of Dates in Arid Climate

S Nizamuddin, a 61-year-old farmer who grows 32 different varieties of dates and encourages other farmers to do the same, has been promoting date cultivation around the nation for more than 10 years.

Chintu Das
Date Palm Farming
Date Palm Farming

S Nizamuddin, a 61-year-old farmer from the Dharmapuri district, cultivates date palms on his 12-acre farm close to Ariyakulam. For more than ten years, he has been pushing date cultivation all over the nation. Nizamuddin currently cultivates 32 different kinds of dates and is inspiring other farmers to do the same.

For the past ten years, he has also been instructing farmers on how to grow and export date palms. The New Indian Express cited Nizamuddin as saying, "When I was working in the Middle East, the date farming there served as my inspiration. I gained knowledge about various growing techniques and returned to Dharmapuri with a few saplings. I eventually mastered the method of tissue culture."

"The date tree is resistant to illnesses and tough weather conditions. Although the environment in Dharmapuri is unfavourable for growing most crops, date palms do well there. As the trees get older, they produce greater earnings. For instance, a tree may produce up to 50 kg of dates in its first year of cultivation, but by its third year, the same tree can produce about 200 kg " he explained.

A fruit vendor named G Senthil told media "Bahria variety may sell 1 kg for between Rs 160 and Rs 200 rupees. It is offered between June and August and is highly sought-after in the neighbourhood market."

Department of Horticulture representatives stated, "Numerous farmers have flocked to date farming during the last few years. In the early years, the dates need to be well cared for; but, after that, little care is needed. The saplings are highly expensive, and a palm may need as much as 1,000 litres of water per day on average."

India is the largest country in import of Date Palm importing about 38% of the world market. Traditionally, the local varieties of Date Palm were grown from the seeds in Kutch-Bhuj area of Gujarat but, the multiplication from seeds of such plants was not feasible due to dioceous nature of the plants. The high-quality planting materials were not available.

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