PATACHARKUCHI, March 18 - Gauri Deka, a sexagenarian, innovative and successful horticulturist near Patacharkuchi in Barpeta district is at present very busy in harvesting strawberries in his field, his first experience of such a cultivation. People from various corners including from Agriculture Department have started visiting his field to witness the rare kind of cultivation and have praised his effort. He informed that a number of people from outside the State, who are working here, also come to his field and encourage his endeavour. Prerna Sarma, IAS, Subdivisional Officer, Bajali subdivision was surprised to witness his horticulture garden.
Deka with his unique skill of agriculture has proved that there is ample scope for strawberry cultivation in the locality which is very profitable compared to other kinds of cultivation. At the beginning, he was not so interested in it and was unaware about the high demand of the fruit in the market. But now he is selling the fruit from the field as the traders rush to his field to collect fresh strawberry at a price of Rs 300 per kg. Now he is harvesting 7 to 8 kgs of strawberry after an interval of three days. He informed that till the filing of this report, he has earned about Rs 25,000 from his experimental cultivation.
He also informed that he got the opportunity to cultivate strawberry from the State Agricultural Department. Although at the beginning, he thought that this type of cultivation may not be successful here but after this attempt he got positive results. He received the offer of cultivation and help from the Agriculture Department along with saplings of the strawberry and now he is very happy to harvest the fruit which has turned his garden into an attractive one. The ripe strawberries and their flavour make him spend most of the time of the day in the field so that he can guard the fruits from the birds as well.
His son Khagen is also extending him assistance and enjoying the cultivation. Khagen collects information about strawberry cultivation procedure from the internet, Deka said. Although he had received a large number of saplings from the Agriculture Department, due to lack of proper knowledge he could save only a thousand of the strawberry saplings, which he planted in one-and-a-half kathas of land. He is very interested to carry on the cultivation in the near future which has proved to be a profitable one.
Deka needs no introduction since he has earned a lot of accolades at various levels earlier. Now in his garden, there are chestnut plants, pears and various breeds of palms, mangoes and vegetables. Earlier, he had also received a number of trainings in the field of agriculture at different levels. After all, at present he has turned his garden into an agricultural research field from where any interested farmer can earn knowledge of farming.