Guwahati, Monday, August 03, 2009
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Boko farmers reap benefits of pineapple cultivation
Kabita Duarah
 GAMURIMURA (BOKO), Aug 2 – A bumper produce of pineapples this season has drastically changed the economic condition of the educated unemployed youths and farmers of Gamurimura and other adjoining areas of Boko.

And this is not the only achievement for this group of hard working locals – there is more to the success story of these people who can rightly claim to have revolutionized the State’s fruit cultivation scenario.

For the first, under a business pilot project of the National Horticulture Board, the North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation and the Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing, Government of Assam, a consignment of 3,000 fresh pineapples produced by these locals has been sent to Delhi.

The Boko area which is gradually emerging as the fruit bowl of the State is witnessing high enthusiasm amongst the unemployed youth to take up fruit cultivation. Intervention by the Technology Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, area expansion scheme and dedication by ADO Gopal Das of Borgaon circle has triggered this fruit revolution.

Donald Sangma of Gamurimura has contributed 600 pineapples to the consignment sent to Delhi. Pineapples produced in an area of 15 bighas this year have kept Donald Sangma busy counting the cash.

“Unlike in any preceding year, there has been a bumper produce of pineapples in our area this time. We have greatly profited from our pineapple cultivation,” said Sangma, adding that the living condition of his family of wife and five children has improved this year beyond expectations.

It needs to be mentioned here that Gamurimura produces the largest quantity of pineapples that flood the markets of Guwahati. In the areas adjoining Gamurimura like Joypur, Bamunigaon, Malong also, people have taken to pineapple cultivation.

The Technology Mission has extended support to 50 hectares of land for pineapple cultivation.

Such has been the success of the pineapple growers that new areas like Singra, Roumari, Jobepara and Borgaon have been inspired to grow pineapples.

“The pineapples produced here are qualitatively different and in appearance also, the pineapples look different. More and more farmers are taking to pineapple growing as it is more profitable and almost disease-free,” said ADO Gopal Das, adding that the thrust has been on organically grown pineapples.

With market linkage improving, the pineapple growers here are contented and concentrating on building the new marketing link to Delhi. “Growing fruits is more profitable than paddy. It has changed our lives,” said Rajkumar Rabha, a youth who grows many varieties of fruits apart from pineapples.