Wayanad couple earns decent income from garden of over 600 foreign fruit trees
Muttil (Wayanad): People travelling through Kariyambadi road turning from Kolavayal junction in the national highway here can see a rich farm full of fruit trees. Over 600 fruit trees are growing in 1.5 acres of land here. Most of them are unfamiliar to Keralites. This garden is owned by Kiran and Suvija.
Kiran started cultivating foreign fruits about 8 years ago. Gradually, more varieties of fruits were planted in the farm and they bloomed and bore fruits. Mangosteen, Nepal lemon, cat fruit, jaboticaba, Spanish cherry, rambutan, black berry jam fruit, Vietnam cherry, strawberry and longan are some of the foreign fruit varieties in the farm.
Many of the fruit plants are from Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, America, Africa and Malaysia. There are 30 varieties of jaboticaba and 10 types of butter fruit. At least 4-5 varieties of all fruits are being cultivated here. The colour and shape of the fruits help identify them.
Kiran had started farming since the age of 15. He grew taro, yam, banana and other crops in his own land and in leased land. Later, he switched to fruit farming and stopped growing other crops. He starts working from 7 in the morning till dark.
Kiran's wife Suvija and children Rithunanda and Rishikesh also helps him with the tasks. His father VK Chandrasekharan also was a farmer who used to conserve traditional paddy varieties.
Being a postgraduate in Economics and NET holder, Suvija was unable to accept farming as a career in the beginning. However, Kiran's passion for farming influenced her too.
The couple's children were not affected with the lockdown as they spend free time in the garden. Both of them are active by acquiring more knowledge on fruit trees and helping in farm works.
Though there are many fruits that fetch attractive prices in the market, the family never sell fruits. Instead they plant seeds, develop saplings and sell them. The customers come to the farm and buy the saplings.
One sapling of jaboticaba costs Rs 1000. It starts blooming after 3 years of planting. Upto 500 fruits can be collected from an adult plant and it can be a major source of income. So, Kiran did not sell a jaboticaba that started bearing fruits though he was offered Rs 50,000.