This farmer from Pipalva doesn’t sweat over opposed climate

RAJKOT: Majority of the kesar mango growers as well as horticulture experts are expecting lesser yield of the fruit this year due to drastic swings in the weather. But , a farmer in village of Junagadh’s Maliya taluka, is not a worried man at all. In fact, Solanki is expecting a double yield this year and sees a five-fold increase in the coming years.
Solanki, who has adopted Israel and South African farming techniques, has used high-density cultivation technique besides saving water by using drip irrigation for watering plants. He adopted these techniques five years ago and has achieved positive results this year. “This is the first time in past five years that I have seen extraordinary results as the tree will give more mangoes. With traditional farming techniques that my father and grandfather used, 100 to 120 trees were grown per bigha, but by using new techniques, I have grown there are 200 mango trees per bigha,” said Solanki.

Mandip Parsania, a horticulture department officer of Junagadh, taught him this technique. This technique is commonly used in fruit orchards of Israel and . “We experimented this technique in three farms of but in this plant it’s successful. We want to experiment this technique in other farms also,” told TOI.

“Our ancestors never chopped the branches of mango trees as a result of which, the distance between two grown trees was 35 to 40 feet. In this new technique, after one yield, we cut the branches and trim the tree so that more trees can be sown in the same space. On trimming, the trees get more flowers too,” he said.

Solanki has sown 150 trees to 200 trees per bigha in place of 25 trees to 30 trees earlier. He used to earn Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per bigha but now he earns Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 because of the bumper mango yield. Solanki claims that the quality of fruit is also better. “It is true that climate change has affected Kesar mango production in our area but it is also a fact that those farmers don’t give proper treatment to mango trees, as a result of which flowers get destroyed in heat and yield falls,” said Solanki, whose farm is just about 20km from mango hub Talala.

Other farmers have also started taking a cue from Solanki. They have set Pipalva as an example of how bumper kesar mango yield can be achieved even in adverse climatic conditions.

“We also want to form a cooperative society to directly sell mangoes to customers,” said Solanki.

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