Mango bonanza from barren land

Mango bonanza from barren land
“When I decided to purchase this piece of land for agriculture five years ago, people did make fun of me. Of course, their opinion was not wrong as this unproductive land was not farm friendly. But they now appreciate my farming success”, says Mahesh Mittalkod holding a fruitful cluster of Mangoes. 

To attain this success, he has struggled a lot.

Having little water resources, farming in a barren land was a challenge.

But after five years of consistent efforts, Mahesh is now tasting fruits of his passion and hard work.
 
Mahesh, a farmer of Kukanapalli village in Koppal district, had purchased three acres of land beside the village. 

The type of soil was so hard that everyone expressed doubts about the success of farming. “But I was confident,” says Mahesh.

Top soil plays an important role in agriculture and here a major portion was under erosion due to continuous flow of rain water. 

Mahesh decided to make the land as arable as possible by digging trenches and bunds to prevent erosion of soil and collect rain water. 

A bore well was the alternative source of water but with very little quantity. 

To increase the yield of bore well, Mahesh adopted rain water harvesting system in a unique way.

 “A National Highway is laid just beside my land and I saw huge amount of rain water draining out from the roads during rainy season, going totally waste. Then I dug trenches and made way to turn rain water directly towards bore well. Interestingly after one monsoon, quantity of water increased,” Mahesh shares his experience.

During this period, he was selected to be a part of the farmers delegation visit to Israel by the Karnataka Government. Upon his visit there, he was privy to the most cutting-edge technologies and decided to adopt them for his mango farming.

He gathered more information about the latest technology and incorporated them in his farms.

“One of my main observations was about the spacing of saplings. Generally we plant saplings at a distance of 15 feet; while in Israel, they plant them at five feet spacing.

Another measure I learnt was to adopt pruning and composting at an early stage. This way, we get high and an early yield. These measures have created Israeli farmers a better market at a   global level”, says Mahesh.

Earlier Mahesh planted saplings with a spacing of 15 feet but after returning from Israel, he bought 600 more Alphonso mango saplings from Ratnagiri and planted them at five feet spacings.
 
Now the saplings are five years old and bearing hundreds of fruits which seems amazing.

“Due to severe water scarcity, Israeli farmers use the exact quantity of water for the plants. I followed the same principle. This year, every tree bore more than hundred kilo of mangoes,” Mahesh says. 

“As far as marketing is concerned, I have no worries. There is always a demand for Alphonso mangoes. Traders come in all the time and buy the mangoes in wholesale. I have already exported one ton of the yield to Mumbai and expecting another 8 to 9 tonnes of fruits within two months,” adds Mahesh.

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