Agricultural Tourism is a new trend in Rajasthan and we are happy to report that Rajasthan’s popular city Kota has some good news for the agriculture and farming enthusiasts!
It came out as a great announcement that around 24 varieties of citrus fruits are being developed at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Citrus Fruits at Nanta near Kota. The project, which methodically came in progress in 2014-15, is fast making waves as the state-of-the-art centre for plant development and orchard management of citrus fruits. Spread over 6.8 hectares, the primary objective of the centre is to develop citrus fruit saplings. This was informed by the Principal Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Rajasthan, Ms. Neelkamal Darbari.
Among the 24 varieties developed are Clementine, Michale Daisy, Kinnow, Nagpur Mandarin, Nagpur Seedless, Jaffa among others.
Ms. Darbari further said that the plant development and orchard management for developing these fruits are based on Israeli technology like mulch, drip and ridge bed system for irrigation. Within a short span of time the Centre is grafting 50,000 plants annually. The Centre has largely achieved its objective of producing disease free and high quality planting material. It is also doing its bit for creating new varieties of citrus fruits suitable for export in the global market. The centre also aims in promoting mechanization in orchard operations. The development of intensive horticulture technologies, spreading awareness about post-harvest and value addition technologies, fertilization and irrigation management techniques are its long term goals.
According to Principal Secretary Agriculture the forthcoming Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Kota later this month, the Centre will be drawing attention for the yeoman service it is providing to the citrus fruit industry of the region. Needless to say that the potential of post-harvest processing projects will be explored by the investors at GRAM.
The Director Horticulture, Mr. Vijay Pal Singh said that the project has the facilities of a primary nursery (plant grafting), a second nursery (budding), protected mother block (nurturing mother plants), open mother block (mother plants located outside the green house) and two demonstrations of root stock and inter space.
Mr. Singh further added that the centre has proved to be a boon for the region considering that the citrus production of fruits is its strength. The climate is suitable for orange orchards. Kota division is contributing 98% of the State produce in terms of ‘Nagpur Orange’. While majority of oranges produced here are Nagpur – there is scope of introduction of new varieties of oranges like Jaffa, Valencia and Daisy.
The post harvesting investment possibilities will relate to projects for orange grading, waxing and packing. With Kota division being strong in orange production (Jhalawar district being the largest in the State for the produce), there is immense potential for packaging and branding operations of the locally sourced fruit as well. The Department is mulling of marketing the produce as ‘Raj Santara’.