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Passion Fruit’s Successful Trial Cultivation Encourages Zhemgang Farmers in Bhutan

As passion fruit continues to flourish in Bhutan, it serves as a testament to the success that can be achieved through the exploration of new crops and the support of agricultural initiatives.

Shivam Dwivedi
Passion Fruit’s Successful Trial Cultivation Encourages Zhemgang Farmers in Bhutan (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Passion Fruit’s Successful Trial Cultivation Encourages Zhemgang Farmers in Bhutan (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The successful trial of passion fruit in Nangkor Gewog, Zhemgang, Bhutan, has ignited a surge of interest in the cultivation of this tropical fruit with its unique flavor. The positive outcomes of passion fruit cultivation have not only increased its popularity but have also inspired other farmers in the region to embark on this lucrative business venture.

Wangyel, a determined 52-year-old farmer, took up passion fruit cultivation in 2019. Although initially hesitant, with the support and guidance from district agriculture officials, he decided to give it a try. Today, his hard work and dedication are paying off as he reaps the rewards after nurturing his passion fruit plants for nearly four years.

Wangyel shared his journey and mentioned that when the district agriculture officer visited their village seeking suggestions on fruit cultivation, he recommended passion fruits due to their subtropical soil. He further explained that as a result of his recommendation, the district agriculture sector provided them with technical and material support, and that was how he started the project.

Wangyel expressed his gratitude for the support received from Bhutan Agro Industries Limited, a fruit processing company, which purchases all his harvests. Officials from Bhutan Agro visited Wangyel's fields directly to procure his passion fruit harvest. Wangyel expressed his gratitude for their support, mentioning that they were unable to afford transportation.

He also mentioned that they had reached an agreement with Bhutan Agro to sell their harvest to them. Wangyel further stated that he estimated a yield of approximately seven to eight thousand kilograms of passion fruits this time.

Covering an area of five acres, Wangyel's passion fruit farm boasts approximately 2,700 passion fruit trees. This season alone, he expects to earn around 3,00,000 Bhutanese Ngultrum. With a kilogram of fruit fetching 38 Bhutanese Ngultrum, passion fruit cultivation proves to be a profitable endeavor. Furthermore, passion fruit plants can bear fruit every season for up to five years, providing a sustained source of income for farmers.

Encouraged by his success, Wangyel plans to expand his cultivation further, utilizing fallow land in the village. Additionally, his prosperous venture has motivated five more farmers in the region to begin growing passion fruits from the next season onwards.

Health experts highlight the numerous benefits of passion fruit, as it is rich in antioxidants and dietary fibers that support a healthy digestive system. With the increasing popularity and potential financial gains associated with passion fruit cultivation, it is expected to become a prominent agricultural activity in Nangkor Gewog, benefiting both the farmers and the local economy.

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