Farmer reaps riches by cultivating Spine gourd as pandal farming

K M Dayashankar


KARIMNAGAR:  In the wake of popularity of Spine gourd, known in Telugu as ‘Boda kakarakaya’, which is priced more than Rs 200 per kilogram during the rainy season, a progressive farmer took up the cultivation of Spine gourd as pandal farming (pandiri) and reaping riches.

Farmer Mamidi Rajaiah from Kistampeta village of Veenavanka mandal had cultivated Spine gourd along with Ridge gourd as pandal farming in his 20 guntas of land and earned Rs 1.11 lakh within  three months after spending Rs 11,000 for cultivation costs including tilling charges, labour charges, vermicompost, cow dung etc.

Usually, the Spine gourd is grows in the forests of the Adilabad district. Surprisingly, despite knowing that the vegetable is edible, the tribal people neither grow it in their backyard nor consumer it or even earn money by selling it as a minor forest produce. Of late, very few have started plucking the crop and selling on the national highways in the district.

Taking cue from the growing popularity of the Spine gourd in urban areas, this farmer Rajaiah had cultivated in small piece of 20 guntas of land under the pandal farming. He secured natural seeds which includes male and female seeds and planted in June. For the pollination, he sprinkled jiggery water on the leaves and adopted organic farming without spraying any pesticide or insecticide. Once planted, the spine gourd crop would provide yield for 10 years.

Along with Spine gourd, he had taken up ridge gourd as inter-crop. Both the crops have started yielding from 50 days of planting. He reaped 8 quintals of Spine gourd and three quintals of ridge gourd and earned Rs 120 per kg for spine gourd and Rs 50 per kg for ridge gourd. After deducting the expenditure of Rs 11,000 incurred  in the cultivation, the farmer earned Rs 1 lakh within three months period.

Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Karimnagar district project director N Priyadarshini informed the farmers to take up pandal vegetable cultivation to reap riches. She said that the farmer Rajaiah had sold his produce in the local Veenavanka, Jammikunta and Karimnagar and earned good profits. She said that the ATMA would provide all assistance and guidance for the farmers for the diversification of the crops and earn profits with less investments.

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