Strawberries attracting tourists

Strawberries attracting tourists

NASHIK: In Surgana’s Borgaon Ghatmatha area, the season of red, pink, sweet, and sour strawberries has blossomed with increasing cold. The healthy strawberries are available for sale at various places like Saptashrungi Gad, Wani, Saputara along the road.

Farmers are cultivating strawberries mainly in Nagshevadi, Ghodambe, Pohali, Sarad, Chikhali, Shinde, Hatgad, Borgaon, Ghagbaari, and other areas of Surgana taluka and Palasdari (valley), Devali Karhad, Bordaivat, Wadpada, Sukapur in the western part of Kalvan taluka. They are now cultivating strawberries scientifically, along with traditional crops like nagli, maize, groundnut, kulid, urad, and wheat.

Due to the cooler environment, available soil nutrients, and texture required for strawberry cultivation, the area under cultivation has been increasing for the last seven to eight years in Surgana Taluka. A total of 169 hectares of land was occupied for strawberry cultivation this year, leading to large scale development.

Before strawberries, farmers were cultivating paddy, nagli, and tomatoes in the Borgaon Ghatmatha area. However, as they realised that strawberries yield Rs. 2 to 3 lakh per acre, they started focusing on this potential cash crop. Strawberry varieties are widely grown in this area, including Selva Rani, Nabila, Sweet Charlie, and others. Tribal farmers purchase the saplings for this fruit from Mahabaleshwar at the rate of Rs. 8 to 10 per sapling.

The potential cash crop has helped farmers earn a decent income. Some farmers send strawberry boxes to Mumbai, Surat, Navsari, Billimora, Ahmedabad, Pune, Aurangabad, Waghai, and Bharuch. Some farmers sell strawberries to local traders on the spot. Most farmers sell strawberries in small boxes at Wani, Nanduri, Saptashrungi Gad, and Saputara Road. The sale of strawberries has employed many farmers. Even many females have got employment due to strawberry cultivation.

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