Mangalbare, Oct 6 . The government has announced Ilam as the ‘kiwi zone’ bearing in mind the potentiality of kiwifruit production. The announcement was made under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project. Some wards inside the Ilam municipality and the Sandakpur rural municipality have been specified as areas covered by the zone.
As said by senior agriculture development officer, Ram Sogarath Shah, the project aims to modernize and commercialise agricultural industries, making them durable. These are launched in the district from the current fiscal year.
Earlier, people of Sulubung, Sakhejung, Mai Pokhari and Jamuna were demanding the declaration of the villages as the ‘kiwi zone’. Taramani Khatiwada of Sulubung who is credited to starting the commercial kiwi farming first time in the district is busy exploring the market of the fruit.
The fruit is sold at Rs 150-250 per kg in wholesale markets. Fruit classified ‘A’ grade gets Rs 250 per kg, ‘B’ grade at Rs 200 and ‘C’ grade at Rs 150. He has planted 700 kiwi plants in 70 ropani of lands and 300 plants have already started bearing fruits.
Ganga Bista of Sankhejung is also seeking a better livelihood through the means of kiwi farming. Some 23,000 households in the district are associated with the kiwi farming. A plant gives at least 200-250 kilos of fruits in a season.