SURAT: Mango farmers of south Gujarat have started adopting new agricultural technology to cultivate high density mango orchards in the region. This technology will give higher yield, with less labour and also help in early fructification. More than two lakh mango trees have been planted under this new method in south Gujarat region.
High density farming has been adopted in countries like Israel, Australia and others. However, Indian farmers have been reluctant to use it. But now many in south Gujarat have also started adopting the new technique. Under this technique trees are planted in series and are not allowed to grow beyond certain height and width.
Ankit Patel, a farmer from Umra-Gothan village of Surat’s Olpad taluka has about five acres of land. Under normal conditions he would have been able to plant 250 trees on his land. However, by adopting the new technique he was able to plant nearly 300 mango trees per acre. His mango orchard now has about 1,500 trees.
“Under the new technique, I have planted 15ftx15ft trees in a series. I see to it that the trees don’t grow above 15 feet. Pruning is done at the beginning of the season and then regular care yields me best quality fruits,” said Ankit. His was able to cultivate 6,000 kg mangoes last year despite rains and heavy winds.
If a tree grows above 40-50 feet it becomes very difficult to maintain it, he said, adding that when a tree is of a manageable size it is easy to take care of it.
“Nutrition and pesticides reaches all parts of the tree evenly if the new technique is used. This results in better yield,” said Nirmal Yadav, technology transfer expert who has been propagating the use of this technology in south Gujarat.
According sources, nearly two lakh trees are being cultivated under the high density method and figures are likely to double by next year.
“Fruit production increases four times due to increase in number of plants. It is advisable for farmers to go for this method for better results,” said Dinesh Padaliya, horticulture officer Surat.