Pradeep Pattanayak

While it is believed that apples can’t be grown in hot climate, Rabindra Nayak, a farmer from Dulakhapatana village under Korei block in Jajpur district has proven the conception as wrong and is currently reaping gold by growing these juicy fruits. 

If you are a first-time visitor to the apple orchard of Rabindra, you could be forgiven for feeling being either in Himachal Pradesh or in Kashmir. 

There are lines of apple trees laden with apples in the orchard. Visitors to the orchard are surprised not because of apples but because these fruits are grown even in the summer season. 

A visibly delighted Rabindra said he planted apple saplings a year ago and this year, for the first time, the trees have born fruits.

Rabindra used to grow vegetables. His village being a flood-prone area, he would suffer loss every year. Then he decided to switch over from traditional vegetable farming to fruit farming. Initially, he grew fruits like guava, mango, papaya, orange, litchi and Thailand berry. The success prompted him to try apple farming.

Last year, he procured 60 saplings of Anna and Golden Dorsett varieties of apples. The feature of these varieties is that they can withstand hot climate. 

“I planted the saplings on January 1, 2022. Fruits started appearing from March, 2023. I am happy that my labour is paying off,” said Rabindra. 

Initially, the villagers ridiculed Rabindra for his change of mind as they were sure that apples can’t be grown in hot climate like the one in Odisha. Now, they feel proud of him.

“When he bought apple saplings, I ridiculed him, saying these saplings were not for our climate. But when the plants started flowering and bearing fruits, I was delighted,” said Adhira Nayak, a villager. 

Rabindra, who is earning Rs 5 lakh from his orchard per year and has engaged four farm labourers, is hopeful that the apple plants will earn him a good return from next year. 

“Earlier, we were wandering in search of works. Now we are engaged at his (Rabindra’s) garden. And it has given us a secured income,” said Alekh Jena, a labourer. 

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