JUMLA, Feb 16: The total area for apple farming in Jumla district is increasing on a yearly basis.
Farmers in Jumla are attracted to apple farming as they have been able to generate profit from the venture. Jumla is famous for its organic apples and the demand for the product is increasing in the domestic market.
According to Balak Ram Devkota, chief of District Agriculture Development Office Jumla (DADO), farmers are really focused on apple farming and the production area for apple farming has increased by 200 hectares this year. DADO has conducted programs centering on dried plants of old garden and giving priority to new pocket areas.
“Apple has become the main source of income in this area. Every house has either small or big garden of apples. Apple farming has helped to run their households and educate their children, so it has become a priority for the people,” said Devkota. “DADO has operated programs focused on apple farming. Our technicians are reaching farmers to give demonstration on management of apple gardens. Farmers are also provided with equipment required in apple farming,” he added.
This year, 6,000 plants of apples are being planted. The new plants of apple planted by farmers are purchased from local apple nurseries. Jumla has 110 apple nurseries.
According to DADO Jumla, nurseries are involved in planting commercial apple plants. Nurseries of Jumla produce around 500,000 apple plants.
After the increment of the production area, 39 hectares of land has been expanded for apple farming. According to Hangsa Bahadur Basnet, a young farmer of Jumla, apple has changed the face of Jumla and farmers want to expand production.
Farmers in Jumla are able to sell their products easily as entrepreneurs have easy access to the apple gardens as roads in the district have been upgraded. Apple is grown in 60 wards in Jumla district.
Apples of red, royal and golden delicious species are produced in Jumla. Farmers do not use chemical fertilizers and apples from Jumla are sold easily in the market due to the produce being organic.