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Growing Fruits: a profitable business

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Brijesh Tripathi in his banana farm with ripening bananas

Papaya and banana farmer Brijesh Tripathi of Tripathi agriculture brand, was interviewed by Vivek Rai on FTB this Sunday. He explains and demonstrates how fruit growing can be a beneficial and satisfying business.

Brijesh started with fruit growing two years back. He started with banana plantation, planting banana trees of G-9 variety. He imported  these from Jalgaon, Maharashtra and has used  tissue culture to grow his bananas. He said that in one acre he was able to plant 1200 banana trees. Banana plants can be grown and harvested only once a year. Brijesh says the ideal days for planting the banana trees are in  July and first week of august so that you can harvest the bananas in September, before the winter season begins. Therefore  preparations should be made early for such plantations, ideally from May to June. You can collect the manure and level the soil and when the time comes  the saplings are planted 6x6 feet (line by line, plant by plant). Brijesh says, from one acre you can grow banana fruits worth 3-4 lakhs every year. [It takes 11 to 12 months to bear fruits from the date of planting of G-9 bananas using  the tissue culture plants]

papaya trees

Other major fruit that Brijesh  grows in his farm is Papaya.  The papaya trees are much more productive than banana trees and fruits grow 3-4  times on papaya trees every  year after proper management. Papaya trees can be infected by viruses and you need to  spray good pesticides to protect your papaya trees. Papaya plants grow and provide ripe fruits after 8 months of planting. Brijesh says that 8-10 lakhs per acre are earned from papaya farming out of which 4-5 lacs are pure profit. He mentioned even if rates for papaya fruit are low in market you can still earn 4-5 lacs per annum per acre of farming land. Brijesh is growing a Taiwanese variety of papayas which have been popular with his customers even through the lock down.

Each papaya tree grows bunch of papayas weighing 50 kgs to 1 quintal. These trees require ample amount of water to grow well. He earns 7-8 lakhs after investment of 2 lakhs per year in his fruit growing business. Income from banana plantation is around  2.5-3 lakhs per acre per annum.  These trees can bear fruits  for three year growing banana fruits  one time a year, in the right season. Papaya trees can bear fruits for two years before dying out. Different amount and type of Irrigation is required for growing  bananas and papayas.  Water pipes are used to send water flat to banana trees. Drip irrigation is used for growing  papayas. Banana planting takes lots of water while papaya trees consume much  lesser amount of water. Since banana and papaya trees provide fruit  for not just one year thus  planting, managing and investing in these trees can give stable income for the life time of these trees.

melons produced by the farm

Brijesh plants his papaya trees using spacing of 6x6 feet, planting almost 1200 trees per acre. He said papaya is selling currently at low prices in winter at Rs. 20 per kg. Cost of growing bananas involve purchasing  Banana saplings of good quality which come at Rs 19-20 per plant, labour costs, pesticides  and cost of growing manure . Though  banana trees have much  lesser chance of failing due to viruses than papaya  trees. Brijesh uses intercropping by planting melon fruit saplings with papaya trees.  He tried this last year and there were simultaneous produces of papaya and melons much enjoyed by his customers.  

Banana is sown in July and August first week because if banana is sown late then it will bear fruit late and thus fruit harvest will be in winter months (November, December, January), when the demand for bananas is quiet low. Merchants don't buy fruits from us in the winter season due to low demand in the market. Even though in some of the other states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra  there is demand for the fruit due to warmer climate, but this demand is met mostly by the local products as its expensive to import from other states.

Brijesh sells bananas per kilograms. Brijesh explains that this year due to his saplings arriving late in august for planting caused by delays at the nursery, he was able to harvest his bananas in the winter season. And due to low demand locally for his produce in winters he has not been able to earn as much as he hoped for. Therefore every banana producer must plant his banana saplings as early as they can for maximizing their  profits. Brijesh explains that however the papaya fruits are in demand throughout the year and thus he does not have to worry about rate fluctuations. Banana bunches weigh from 20 kgs to 40 kgs. This year he plans to sow his saplings as early as he can so as to harvest the banana fruits by September to earn the maximum.

Brijesh Tripathi

Brijesh Tripathi

Jalon, Uttar Pradesh

Tripathi Agriculture

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