The local administration has declared Dhankuta, in the eastern hill district, an avocado capital, due to the rising popularity of the fruit.
Commercial avocado farming has become a key income generating sector in the district. Although the district has been known for orange farming, in the last few years, farmers have been attracted towards growing other fruits.
Among them, avocado stands at the top, said Chintan Tamang, mayor in Dhankuta Municipality. “That’s the reason why we have declared Dhankuta an avocado capital.” Similarly, the Municipal Council under the Mayor’s Agro Tourism programme has officially declared Dhankuta as a special area for dragon fruit, said Tamang.
“Now, Dhankuta will be developed as a commercial avocado and dragon fruit producing area.”
The municipality had discussed the potential of establishing Dhankuta as commercial producers of these two fruits with several agro experts. Avocado is very nutritious and contains a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. These days, avocado has become a popular food among health conscious individuals, according to agro expert of Dhankuta Municipality Jeevan Rai. He said that avocado has a history of more than 30 years in Dhankuta. It was brought through the initiation of Pakhribas Agriculture Research Centre. “Research officials and tourists from the UK had brought avocado to eat during their visit to Nepal. It was not clear whether the seed sprouted itself or the officials sowed it,” said Rai.
Among the top region where avocado farming has been getting popular, Dhankuta stands at the top. According to statistics, more than 26,000 saplings of avocado have been planted in Dhankuta in the last few years.
As of now, Dhankuta has been producing 80 tonnes of avocado annually. Nearly, 3,764 trees have been bearing fruits. According to Tamang, farmers have been encouraged to plant at least 100,000 avocado saplings to boost production.