The tribal village of Madarkonta in southern Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district has earned popularity both in tourism as well as agriculture. Several residents here have taken up the trellis method of vegetable cultivation in a big way, attracting farmers from nearby villages wishing to learn this unique method.
Last month, about 1,500 women farmers belonging to the Tirathdhara Mahila Krishak Utpadak Samuh, an agriculture production cluster based in Darbha block of Bastar, arrived in Madarkonata on an exposure visit to learn how creeper plants like bitter gourd, sem and barbati (long bean) were being grown by farmers supported on vertical wooden poles tied together by iron wires.
As the women queued up near the trellis structure of Sanku Ram, the latter explained to them about the method. In 2020, Ram had earned up to a lakh by selling vegetables in the nearby local market. This year during monsoon, he again turned to the trellis method for profit and set up his structure in June.
“The trellis system assures me of high productivity in creeper vegetable cultivation such as bitter gourd. Others in my village have also taken it up. Just before the onset of monsoon, I spent Rs 20,000 on making the structure. I have already recovered the amount through selling my produce in July and August. I sold off a huge quantity of bitter gourd in the local haat (rural market),” Ram said.