Here’s how Youtube changed the life of a 55-yr-old farmer from Tripura


By Somjit Naha | AGARTALA | JUNE 15, 2020:

'Success has no limitations; it can be achieved by if you are optimistic enough and if you dare to follow your dreams'

The will to learn and try something new, in accordance with the changing times may not necessarily be restricted to the younger and more advanced generation. All one needs is a push in the right direction favoured by a deep sense of passion and dedication.

This 55-year-old man from Kachanmala in West Tripura district is one such optimistic and open-minded farmer, who took a bold step of transforming his 1.5-acre farmland into a dragon fruit plantation, only by watching Youtube videos.

His courage and vision has caught the attention of Tripura Chief Minister, Biplab Kumar Deb, who lauded him for his successful endeavour.

Talking about his inspirational journey, Parimal told The Northeast Today, "I have been in the agricultural business for the last 20 years. I was earlier involved in rubber production and owned a sweet lime (mosambi) and mango orchard. However, in 2017 I came to know about dragon fruit through a friend who showed me a video on YouTube. I also came to know that dragon fruit has many health benefits. I immediately decided to start planting the fruit in Tripura. Along with my son Joydeb, who is a 4th-semester B.Com student of Ramthakur College, we started searching for more information on the internet."

After obtaining the information he needed, Parimal decided to clear out a portion of his 1.5-acre land to cultivate dragon fruit.

Parimal Das along with his son Joydeb, left, and concrete pillars used for growing dragon fruit. (TNT Photo)

Initially, Parimal started by constructing eight concrete pillars which would be able to hold 32 plants. He collected the saplings from suppliers based in Kolkata and Bangladesh for Rs 250 per piece and planted four saplings on each pillar.

"I didn't even think about the loss because I was confident enough that if I could properly cultivate the dragon fruit in Tripura, I would surely achieve success. So, I took a loan of around Rs. 5 lakh from Nikhil Das of Bishalgarh, who has also helped me throughout my journey. I now have 500 pillars, with each pillar being able to hold four plants and even the fruits which are ready to be harvested now," he said.

He has already harvested around 100 kg of fruits and is selling them at the local market at Rs. 350 to Rs. 400 per kg.

Sharing more insights on the dragon fruit production, Parimal said that the plant starts flowering from April onwards and harvesting usually begins in May which can continue up to December. Around 20 kg of fruits can be harvested from each plant in the very first year and it increases with each passing year.

"The dragon plants have a life span of around 25 years," he said.

"Shockingly, while gathering information about the dragon fruit, we learnt that it might take 16 months for the first batch to be ready for harvest. However, we were pleasantly surprised when it only took 10 months. This indicates that dragon fruit cultivation is ideal for our climate," he added.

According to Parimal, if the state government would take up initiatives to promote and create a market for dragon fruit across the country, it would prove to be highly beneficial for farmers.

Freshly harvested dragon fruit. (TNT Photo)

"It was a moment of great pride for me when I met chief minister, Biplab Kumar Deb. If the state government focuses on the marketing of dragon fruit and assist us in creating a chain, we would be able to supply it to markets across the country. I am certain that it will be very beneficial for the farmers of our state if that happens," Parimal said. Earlier, Chief Minister, Biplab Kumar Deb took to his Facebook page and lauded Parimal Das for his initiative by posting the following words, "Happy to share the inspiring story of Shri Parimal Das, a rubber producer turned successful Dragon Fruit grower of Tripura. Inspired by YouTube video, he started his Dragon Fruit farm at Kanchanmala, West Tripura district in 2018 and got success in producing the fruit which has huge demand in domestic as well as in the international markets. He is an inspiration to many other farmers and young agro-allied entrepreneurs who may also take such initiatives as both the State & the Central Governments have taken several initiatives under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi to double the farmers' income by 2022."