By adopting the technology developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Tropical Horticulture, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Pawan Kumar Gautum from Saloni, Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh has set himself as an example of a successful Progressive Nursery Entrepreneur in the area.
He is the 3rd Generation Nursery Grower as his Grandfather started the Nursery production of Temperate Fruit Crops and established the Apple Orchards 35 Years ago. Following the footsteps of his Grandfather, his Father continued to serve the farming community by the production of quality planting material over the Nursery area of 1/2 Ha.
As the growers in the region have started shifting from the low density to high-density orcharding systems, the demand for Apple Plants on traditional Rootstocks has reduced and imported clonal Rootstocks have surged up. The family which is mostly dependent on Nursery raising also aspires to shift; but, the poor financial base was the main bottleneck in transformation.
Shri Pawan started the raising of Clonal Rootstocks during 2015 on small scale inside a Greenhouse area of 105 Sq. Metres. He was able to produce only 1,800 Clonal Rootstocks of Apple per Year with this limited facility with a profit of around Rs 1.45 Lacs per Year. The evolved farmer adopted the technology “Vertical Expansion of Nursery under Protected Conditions” during 2021 under the proper guidance and supervision of the Institute with the endurable input cost of Rs. 35,000 for the procurement of inputs and labor, etc.
Initially, he faced a lot of problems during the adoption like availability of inputs and negligible support from the family members; but, later with their support, he was able to complete all the operations well in time. He was successful in the production of an additional 7,200 healthy plants with a well-developed root system suitable for grafting / budding (> 8 mm caliper size) Rootstocks in addition to his early production capacity of 1,800 Rootstocks which fetched him an additional revenue of Rs. 4.30 Lacs.
The intervention of technology not only enhanced the family’s income by four times; but, the dream of a transition from conventional to Clonal Rootstock has also been fulfilled. Shri Kumar has become an early adopter and the Brand Ambassador of the Technology in the region by training and motivating other farmers for adoption of the technology.
Keeping in view the interest of the other Nursery growers of the State, the Institute imparted five-day Training on “Quality Planting Material Production in Temperate Fruit Crops” to a group of 20 Progressive Nursery Growers along with Shri Pawan Kumar in December, 2021.
The main purpose of the training was a detailed demonstration of the technology for easy adoption and its promotion on a large scale. The technology has not only ascertained to transform the lives of the small nurserymen; but, is a step forward towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat as the proven technology has the potential for reducing the dependence on the import of Clonal Rootstock from the European and other countries.
(Source: ICAR-Central Institute of Tropical Horticulture, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir)