Kanchanmalla: Parimal Das is a rubber nursery farmer turned horticulturist, who for the first time has successfully commercially grown dragon fruit in Tripura. Apart from making efforts day and night, he also took help from the videos available on YouTube.
“The biggest hurdle was to get the saplings of the dragon fruit. After an extensive search, I came to know about a nursery in Bangladesh and procured 50 dragon fruit saplings from there through Kolkata. I first cultivated those saplings at Kanchanmala village in West Tripura, a place which is 25 kilometres from capital Agartala,” he said while speaking to ANI.
In 2019 Das got his first fruit and that encouraged him to further extend his orchard by multiplying the sapling and at present, he has around 2,000 plants, all of them bearing fruits and ready to harvest.
In fact, this year Das has already sold his first harvest to local vendors and got Rs 400 per kilogram price. He has also started providing free training to people in order to encourage dragon fruit plantation, by which one can get self-employed.
Das’s success in dragon fruit cultivation experiment has found good response from the government and recently the state Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb also appreciated his efforts and recently wrote on Facebook that he is an ‘inspiration to many other farmers and young agro-allied entrepreneurs’ who may also take such initiatives as both the state and Centre have taken several initiatives under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
He has also employed five local youths in his business and a handful of daily labourers are also working for him.
“I earn around Rs 3,000 a month depending upon the work and the income helps in providing education to my children and run the family better,” said Kalpana Rudra Paul, a daily labourer.