The state government is coming up in the production of pomegranate in a very big way.
Well known agricultural scientist Dr R K Pal, director of National Research Centre On Pomegranate, Solapur, Maharashtra with his team of scientists visited Purulia and Bankura for livelihood intervention through establishment of pomegranate orchards in the Paschimanchal districts of the state.
He met Shantiram Mahato, minister for Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Department and discussed possibilities of the crop and potentiality of upgrading economic status of the poor farmers. Pal visited Purulia and Bankura and gave suggestions to the farmers.
It may be mentioned that the scientists of the National Research Centre on Pomegranate is thinking about a large scope of pomegranate cultivation in these districts and it requires low rainfall for growth and good fruiting. Dry climate is best for its commercial cultivation like Solapur, Pune area.
It was Dr Pal who had visualised that the Paschimanchal districts have the potential to produce high quality pomegranates. Accordingly, he sent 3,500 best quality Bhagwa variety pomegranate saplings to Bankura and 15,000 saplings to Purulia and Bankura districts under the Tribal Sub Plan.
The district administration in Purulia and Bankura implemented the schemes by using Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. Also, Dr Pal installed drip irrigation system in these orchards and sent the scientists to oversee how the orchards are being run.
District officials of MGNREGA cell accompanied the team to both the districts.
Dr Pal said: “Paschimanchal districts are most suitable for pomegranate and maximum returns possible from unit area as compared to other crops. The area can be the fruit baskets of Bengal if planned and executed properly.” Shantiram Mahato said: “We are hopeful for execution of these schemes for livelihood support to our farmers through these interventions.”