1000 kg lemon from 14 trees; Kottayam man cuts rubber trees in 2 acre to start lemon farm
Though not many farmers would think of cultivating lemon on a large scale, Kottayam Pala native Babu Jacob decided to give it a try. And now he is the owner of an entire farm of lemon trees. Belonging to a traditional farmers' family, Babu Jacob started lemon farming after ending 15 years long NRI life. He chose the saplings from a lemon tree in his ancestral house.
First, Babu planted 14 lemon trees in a 7-cent plot. After four years, he harvested about 1000 kilograms of lemon from these trees. As it is an organic local variety, the lemon fetched Rs 100 per kilogram. With this, Babu decided to cut the rubber trees in their plantation and expanded lemon cultivation in 2-acre land.
Though the trees did not grow well initially, Babu later found out that the soil lacked some elements. As he resolved it, the plants grew well and bore fruits. Normally, bats attack any type of fruits in the orchard. But lemon are safe from the attack of almost all of such creatures including bats, monkeys, squirrel and rats due to sharp thorns on the plants and sour taste of the fruits.
Now there are 250 lemon trees in the 2-acre land in Babu's house at Kumbalathanam in Pala. He also cultivates guava, seedless lemon, areca nut, rubber, rambutan, mangosteen, passion fruit. The hybrid guava tree is a short variety so that fruits can be plucked from the ground.
Babu Jacob is of the opinion that hard work will definitely give a good result. Lemon trees need good maintenance, fertilizer and water. Direct sunlight is essential. The tree would not grow well if covered by other trees. The beginners should first experiment with a few plants before starting farming on a large scale.
Among the 14 trees he first planted, about 80-100 kilograms of lemon could be harvested from a single tree. Normally, lemons are harvested in three seasons. But in this plantation, the lemon trees bear fruit all year round. Also the lemons are more fragrant and juicy. Only 160-170 lemons are required to weigh 10 kilograms.
Babu harvested 1,000 kilograms of lemon from the 14 trees and sold them for Rs 100 per kilogram. The shops, food processing units and societies in the area were the customers. However, the COVID crisis affected the lemon sales too and price and profit dropped this year, he said.
Babu has also arranged a nursery named 'Lemon Meadows' for selling lemon saplings. He sells both local and hybrid saplings here. Local lemon saplings are developed by germinating seeds. Hybrid saplings brought from North India are also available in the nursery.
For more details, contact at: 95625 49231