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Guj Farmer Revives Old Trees Instead of Axing, Increases Produce

Gujarat farmer Rajesh Shah used a technique called girdling to make the fruit trees produce fruits in more numbers.

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Gujarat Farmer Rajesh Shah used the technique called girdling to make the fruit trees produce more.
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An orchard owner in Gujarat, Rajesh Shah, uses a technique called girdling to make old trees produce more fruit to help the farmers, rather than allow them to be axed.

According to The Better India, Shah, a farmer by profession, revived a 125-year-old mango tree on his farm to produce over 2.3 lakh kg fruit in a year. He used the method of ‘girdling’ to make the tree increase its fruit production.

The report states that Rajesh was inspired by Gujjar folklore – an ethnic agricultural community to revive the fruit bearing trees by using the method of girdling.

Rajesh’s orchard is about 65 acres and is filled with the variety on Alphonso, Kesar, Payari and Malgova mango trees.

What is Girdling?

Girdling or ring-barking of trees refers to the removal of a complete ring of the bark from a stem, branch or trunk. Girdling forces fruit-bearing plants to produce bigger and sweeter fruit. Once the tree is girdled, new layers will grow to cover the cut.

Rajesh suggests that a tree should be girdled only if it aged over 35 years and branches of the tree should be at least 15 feet above the ground level.

“Alphonso begins fruiting from the third year onwards, and by the age of 35, they either fruit once every two years or produce fewer numbers, making them a suitable candidate for girdling.”
Rajesh Shah as quoted by The Better India

“I began experimenting with the technique in 1996 and mastered the technique only by 2011. This year, I have girdled 75 branches,” Shah told The Better India.

Rajesh Shah was conferred the ‘Krushi Na Rushi’ title by the Gujarat government in 2006, the Sardar Patel Agriculture Research Award in 2009 by the Union Agriculture Ministry and the latest being IARI (Indian Agriculture Research Institute) Innovative Farmer Award in 2018.

(With inputs from The Better India)

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