JUMLA, Nov 14: Ram Singh Rawal of Jumla's Sinja Rural Municipality is in Kathmandu at the moment, selling and branding the apples produced in the district.
He left the district with seven tons of organic apples that he produced in his garden. The fruit is in high demand, and he is busy delivering it at hotels and supermarkets. He has not been able to take it to all the places from where demand comes.
Just as he is taking the pains of home-delivering apples in the capital, he took utmost care in cultivating the fruit at home. "I take every possible care to see that apples grow well. Manure, irrigation, and management of garden are my top priorities. Just like the parents care for their children, I care for my apples."
"There is a different level of satisfaction and self-respect when I market and deliver apples in Kathmandu," Ram Singh said. "I have bought only apples of Jumla 'A' and 'B' grades. I am satisfied with the price that I get in Kathmandu."
"Jumla is known for quality apples these days. I can see that farmers of Jumla can make lots of money by selling their apples in cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa," he added.
There are 1,000 plants in Ram Singh's garden. All the trees did not bear fruits this year. He estimated that he would earn at least Rs 5 million if apples grew in every tree. "This is money earned through purely hard-work, not through corruption or robbery. This gives you immense satisfaction," he said. "It is a matter of pride.” With proper marketing and strategy, Jumla apples can be a good contributor to national economy, he added.
More than 100 pits are dug in Gora Gaun of the district where manure is produced for apple gardens. Under Ram Singh's leadership other local crops like chino, kaguno and buckwheat are also produced. To clear the confusion about origin of Jumla apples that were earlier packaged in Indian and Chinese boxes, he started using locally produced packaging boxes.
A student of economics, Ram Singh has done careful analysis of the economic, political, social, and cultural situation of Karnali. After establishing 'Mann Apple Production and Processing Industry', Ram Singh started the garden ten years ago. He started apple farming from the last year. Earlier he grew walnuts, peach, garden peas and beans. He also runs poultry farming, buffalo farming, rabbit farming and bee keeping in the garden.