Getting mango all the year round
Possible, says Allimuthu of Tamil Nadu, if you follow the technique of grafting. Allimuthu has grafted more than 20 varieties in a single mango tree
More often than not, agricultural discoveries or innovations by farmers come out of necessity and not an accident. Farmers know the practical problems both on and off the field, and keep thinking about solutions.
Take the case of P. Allimuthu a mango farmer of Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu who cultivated some mangoes and got a good price during the season. Once the season ended his earnings stopped.
Says Allimuthu, “Since our forefathers’ days this has been the trend for us and many others. This made me think: why not have trees which can bear fruits throughout the year?”
Having interactied with the staff of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University during a farmers’ meet Allimuthu learnt that through grafting, a single mango tree could be made to bear different fruit varieties throughout. After attending some training programmes he started grafting some of his trees. “Usually mango farmers cite pest infestation or low bearing as the reason for cutting down their trees. But I learnt through personal experience that by grafting, low yielding trees can also be made to bear more fruits,” he says.
Pointing to a tree he says: “If you look closely at this tree you can notice that more than 20 varieties are grafted in this and I get different fruits all through the year.”
Unlike a single variety, a tree in which different varieties are grafted may not give the same yield, but if a majority of trees in a farm are grafted then one can get a good yield (different varieties) all through the year, according to him. The farmer further elaborates: “Farmers should understand that to get a good price, they must be able to supply their produce even during lean periods and if possible throughout the year. If one can supply during lean periods then the farmer dictates terms to the buyer,” he says.
Presently, Allimuthu teaches a number of farmers to graft their own seedlings. “Interested farmers can visit my farm and learn to graft their required varieties. I also sell the grafted seedlings at Rs. 50 per seedling,” he adds.
For more, contact Mr. P. Allimuthu, Rasipuram taluka, Minakal post, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, mobile: 94435-11253, 94422-64273 and phone:04287-264273.
The article is courtesy http://prabumj.wordpress.com. M J Prabhu writes a column in The Hindu and Business Line