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Strawberry Cultivation Will Now Expand in UP’s Prayagraj

The horticulture department would sell farmers saplings for between Rs 15 and Rs 20 each to encourage them to start cultivating strawberries in this area.

Shruti Kandwal
More than 20 districts in the state, including the drought-prone Bundelkhand area, are currently cultivating strawberry.
More than 20 districts in the state, including the drought-prone Bundelkhand area, are currently cultivating strawberry.

Now Prayagraj farmers may be seen growing strawberries, which are typically cultivated in cold climates. Testing revealed that the soil in this area is excellent for growing strawberries. According to district authorities who are aware of the situation, the horticulture department has set a goal of commencing strawberry production on two hectares of property.

"Strawberry farming is more profitable as compared to other crops, but it is a high investment, high return farming," stated District Horticulture Officer (DHO), Prayagraj, Nalin Sundaram Bhatt.

"Farmers can make between Rs 18 and 20 lakh per acre by growing strawberries, which cost about Rs. 4 lakh per acre. One hectare (2.47 acres) of land has over 54,000 strawberry plants planted there," the farmer said.

The horticulture department would sell them saplings for between Rs 15 and Rs 20 each to encourage farmers to start cultivating strawberries in this area. However, according to authorities, in order for the farmers to profit from the government effort, they must first register with the district horticulture department.

Experts claim that strawberry growing started on a modest scale in the western U.P. districts of Saharanpur and Pilibhit. over 20 years ago. Later, it was adopted by other farmers who had previously grown tomatoes in poly houses. More than 20 districts in the state, including the drought-prone Bundelkhand area, are currently cultivating the fruit.

"For fruiting, strawberries need porous soil, relatively little water, and temperatures between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius. In the majority of the state in the winter, both of these criteria are readily satisfied, according to a senior horticulturist.

The majority of strawberry producers also engage in drip irrigation, which is simple to put up and reduces water costs by over 30%. "An acre of land can hold around 22,000 seedlings, and they can produce about 20,000 kg of strawberries. According to the needs of the market, the profit margin might range from 30 to 45%," he stated.

"Between mid-September and mid-October, strawberry seedlings are grown on mounds. To prevent soil contact, foliage is placed on plastic. Early January marks the start of the harvest, which lasts until early March. With the rise of food trends over the past ten years, strawberry popularity has increased," he stated.

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