Jashpur, Chhattisgarh’s Fruitful Transition: A Turn From Traditional Crops to Fruit Farming Bolsters Local Economy
In the heartland of Chhattisgarh, Jashpur district has emerged as a significant hub for the cultivation of fruits and dry fruits in the last decade. The region, famous for its cool, humid climate, has replaced traditional crops with a plethora of fruits, including apples, mangoes, pears, litchis, guavas, cashews, and strawberries. This strategic shift has not only boosted the local economy but also provided a sustainable livelihood for the tribal population.
A Fruitful Upliftment of Jashpur’s Economy
Jashpur’s economy has seen a remarkable transformation over the past decade. By capitalizing on the region’s favorable climatic conditions, farmers have switched from traditional crops such as Kodo, Kutki, Ramtil, and paddy to a variety of fruits. This transformation has resulted in a surge in the income of tribal farmers, from an annual earning of 7-8 thousand rupees to an impressive 50-70 thousand rupees.
The fruits of Jashpur are now bringing sweetness to many other states, including Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, along with major cities within Chhattisgarh. The district’s robust fruit cultivation sector now annually dispatches over 14 lakh quintals of various fruits to other cities or states, engaging over 21 thousand farmers in cultivation over 40 thousand acres of land.
Empowering Tribal Farmers
Most of the farmers engaged in this transformation are tribals, receiving support from the Horticulture Department. According to Rajesh Gupta, founder of the Rural Education and Development Society, “Earlier farmers were not ready to plant legumes on their land here. After preparing them, farming was started in one acre of each farmer. Manure and plants were provided, and they were given technical information. Now the economic condition of the farmers has started getting stronger.”
As a testimony to this, Dasharam, a mango and pear farmer in Manora’s Sonkyari, explained how he transitioned from cultivating Ramtil to fruit farming, increasing his annual income substantially.
Climate: A Catalyst for Jashpur’s Transformation
The diverse climate of Jashpur, varying across the Lower Ghats, Upper Ghats, and Pat areas, is conducive for different types of fruit cultivation. RS Tomar, a Horticulture Department official, mentions, “Most of the fruits are cultivated in the upper region and the Pat region. It is best for fruits.”
Ramji Barwah, a former worker in an apple orchard in Himachal Pradesh, echoes this sentiment. He plans to start cultivating apples in Jashpur, knowing that the environment is favorable.
While Jashpur’s transformation has been substantial, further research is ongoing to maximize the fruit variety and bolster the tribal farmers’ economic conditions. “Our study is still going on that how maximum varieties of fruits can be produced in Jashpur. At present, apple is at the experimental stage. Apart from this, we are also working on litchi, pear, cashew, strawberry. Our efforts regarding tea are also going on,” stated Dr. Ravi Mittal, Collector, Jashpur.
Dr. Mittal further added, “For Jashpur with low temperature, coolness and humidity, its atmosphere is working to strengthen the economy. In the last 10 years, Jashpur has emerged as a big junction for the cultivation of fruits and dry fruits.”
(Source: Dainik Bhaskar Report)
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