November 16, 2020/Dang-
NCP leader Rajkumar Sharma ‘Art’ has been engaged in dragon fruit farming in Dang district.
Sharma the NCP central committee member, district coordination committee chief and party incharge of Rukum West has been seriously engaged in the farming since 7 years now.
The dragon fruit has paid him good and thus encouraging others too for the same.
He has grown 1500 dragon fruit plants in the family farm of one and half bigha land, in Lamahi municipality-1 of Deukhuri in Dang district.
The communist leader popularly known with his party name as comrade Art lived an underground life too.
He is always seen busy in his farm during his leisure and believes it not only brings income but keeps us healthy.
“I encourage everyone to grow the tropical fruit. Those who want to grow in large scale or commercial basis should go for it. Even if one is not seriously interested, they should grow at least 10-15 plants in their garden for family consumption. It’s a very good source of income generation,” Sharma advises.
“It’s a simple easy form of agriculture. In fact it is the task of a lazy farmer. Every plant needs a cement pole and some technology. Interest is a must but there is no need to worry much!,” he explains.
“It’s a high value crop yielded with less effort,” according to him,”The fruit has become increasing popular in recent years.”
It’s a decent source of iron, magnesium and fibre and one should consume it at least in a while if not possible regularly.
The cactus species plant is also called pitaya or pithaya and the fruit is also a very good source of antioxidant.
He was initially inspired by Livestock expert JN Rai to grow the fruit.
First he grew around 40 plants in Kathmandu in his rental space. The same time he grew some 4 plants of dragon fruits in Dang too.
After the rewarding result, he extended his farm in Dang too.
He earns 10-15 lakh rupees annually and aspires to raise the income.
He happily informs that people come to purchase the fruits directly to his farm.
The fruits are paid 600-800 per kg in the farm itself, thus there is no problem of marketing untill now.
In case of Nepal, the production season is only during the warm seasons.
He also sells the plants ranging from 200 to 600 as per the length.
The fruit which is a native to Southern Mexico and Central America is also known as ‘Honululu queen’.
The bright red skin with green scales resembles a dragon, therefore it is called dragon fruit.
There are yellow skin variety too.
The fruit has white or pink pulp inside with tiny black seeds.
It is slightly sweet which is a cross between a kiwi and a peer.
However, the flowers bloom only in the night and some use it in the tea after drying them.
The NCP leader has plans to expand the farm in 10-15 bigas of land in future.
He believes proper use of technology in agriculture along with government support and plans can make Nepal independent in agricultural products, thereby raising the economic status of the farmers.
He strongly concludes hard work of citizens will definitely bring prosperity to the Nation.