Sweet success for innovative bitter gourd farmer in Kolar

Two years back he began the cultivation of bitter gourd in the twenty acre of land that was surrounded by tanks. He was well aware of the lack of market for the commonly disliked vegetable, but he went ahead with its cultivation.

Market outside
Once the seeds began yielding fruits he found a market beyond his local purview and carrying out business in Bangalore and Madras.

“At a time when the farmers across the district were panicking over the lack of rainfall for growing vegetables including tomatoes, I made this surviving move because I knew that bitter gourd can be cultivated with nominal water supply,” Chalapathi said.

No loss
Among a handful of farmers in the district who grow bitter gourd Chalapathi has maintained a no-loss record since the time of cultivation.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chalapathi listed a few benefits that a bitter gourd farmer has, “Bitter gourd is not prone to market price fluctuations. It also survives through diseases as compared to other crops”.

The only problem that can occur is when the leaves of the plant turn yellow but that can be solved with easily available medicines, he said.

Reaching customers
He also added that as soon as the yield is done he sells to other states since language has never been a barrier for him.

“The plant yields within two-three months giving around 400-500 bitter gourds at once,” Chalapathi said.

He has invested Rs3000-4000 and he says that he gets a minimum of Rs7-8 per kg and a maximum of Rs10-12 per kg. He adds that even though there is no high profit, chances of incurring losses are minimal.

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