The oldest cultivated fruit tree in the world is the date palm, which belongs to the Arecaceae family. It’s native to the Persian Gulf nations. Date palms are climacteric in nature and are produced for their delicious fruit, which has a high nutritional value. It thrives in challenging climates, producing high yields in areas where most other crops are difficult to grow. In addition, the anti-inflammatory minerals, crude fibers, and cholesterol-free nutrients in date palm make it a valuable nutritional item. Let’s check out tips for earning 7 lakh per year from Date Palms.
The date palm is a versatile tree that provides food, shelter, and wood. The date fruit is a wonderful food source since it contains fiber, carbs, minerals, vitamins, and anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic characteristics. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Sudan, Oman, Libya, and Tunisia account for most date palm farming worldwide. India has a total area under date palm cultivation of roughly 20,000 hectares, and it imports soft and dry dates every year.
The hot arid areas of Rajasthan, including the districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Sriganganagr, and Jodhpur, Punjab’s Bhatinda, Fazlika, Abohar, Haryana’s Sirsa, Hisar, Mahendergarh, Bhiwani, Gujarat’s Kach region, and parts of Tamil Nadu’s Tamil Nadu state, are the significant areas for date palm cultivation.
Health benefits of dates
Dates have very high nutritional value. The fruits are high in critical vitamins and minerals that might benefit your overall health. Dates are one of the healthiest dry fruits since they are substantial in fiber and carbs. Dates have a high fiber content, which can be helpful to persons who suffer from health problems caused by irregular bowel movements. They can aid in maintaining excellent gut health and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, dates are well-known for their high antioxidant content.
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Dates are rich in antioxidants when compared to other dried fruits. Date consumption helps alleviate anxiety-related difficulties and improve memory and learning. The implications of frequent date eating on your brain health are numerous. They can aid in the general enhancement of your brain and prevent degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Pregnant women who eat dates regularly have a higher chance of having a natural delivery. Cesarean deliveries have issues that are dangerous to the woman giving birth.
Eating dates in the final weeks of pregnancy might make the entire birth process smoother. Dates’ strong antioxidant content also aids in limiting the activities of components that might cause cancer, lowering the risk of cancer. In addition, dates can stimulate insulin production and contain several qualities that can assist in restricting the pace of glucose absorption from the gut. This can slowly reduce the risk of diabetes.
Dates have several properties that might help your kidneys stay healthy even when times are rough. Micronutrients including selenium, manganese, magnesium, and copper are abundant in dates. These micronutrients help your bones grow and develop properly. If you have bone problems, dates might be one of the most crucial vitamins you can add to your diet.
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Earning 7 lakh per year from Date Palms
The success story of Mr. Shankar Rao
Mr.Shankar Rao of Nalgonda district, Telangana, has been cultivating dates palm in two acres since 2013. He is the first to start dates farming in the whole Nalgonda district. Before a decade, he bought land for construction purposes, which is non-cultivatable. Later, he observed that palm trees grew around the area and started research. He learned that the land he bought could help cultivate date palms.
As there is no awareness and knowledge among most farmers, he thought it was a risky business at the start. But since dates farming is very profitable, he wanted to risk it off. Before starting his farm, he consulted many agricultural scientists and gathered information. He conducted soil tests and realized that the land was beneficial for cultivating date palms.
Growing details of date palms according to Mr. Shankar
Mr. Shankar chose the Barhee species of this plant to cultivate dates. The growth period of a date palm is nearly 40 years, so he experimented with taking 60 plants per acre in two acres. If he cultivated regular crops, he knew he would see huge losses as the land he bought doesn’t support this. But, he thought he could gain huge profits if he succeeded, as it could continuously keep producing the fruits till 40 years.
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Date palms are slow plants. These are sturdy plants. These require more heat and less water. It takes three years for these plants to produce the first yield. After that, you can get 20 to 30 kgs of dates per plant. These plants can grow to 40 to 50 feet in their lifetime. These plants are very similar to typical palm trees, looks-wise. Generally, it costs nearly 150 rupees for one plant, but they won’t produce any yield till they attain 6 or 7 years.
Considering this, Mr. Shankar used cultured tissue plants to cultivate the date palms. These plants are very costly, and they can cost you nearly 3,100 rupees per plant. So it took him about 1,86,000 rupees per acre to buy the plants, which sums up to 3,72,000 rupees for two acres. And for planting these, it cost him nearly 30,000 rupees separately for two acres. This includes the labor and machinery costs. Even though the initial price of these tissue cultured plants is high, the plants helped Mr. Shankar in producing high and quick yields.
Instead of 7 years, it took him only three years for the first harvest. You have to ensure that the spacing between each plant is 27 feet while planting the crops. His spacing is necessary because it also needs wind which can help in preventing damages to fruit bunches. Or growing these trees, you have to find soil that contains hydrogen on a scale of 8-10. e appointed a worker to take care of the farm, and also he is under the direct supervision of Mr. Shankar.
From the time of planting, they’ve been using different fertilizers in a limited amount for each plant for producing high yields. They are using single super phosphate mixed with milk as a fertilizer, and this fertilization should be done every year. You should also provide the plants with DAP yearly, 250 grams per plant. He is also using a drip irrigation system to provide water to these trees, which helped him reduce his labor costs and proved effective.
Also, these trees are less prone to diseases; you don’t need pesticides or insecticides while cultivating these plants. However, Mr. Shankar got only 50% yield from the crops, and many crops didn’t produce any yield at the time of the first harvest. Also, there is an issue with the rhinoceros beetle. If the plants get damaged by the rhinoceros beetle, then your yield can be seriously affected. In the past, farmers in Andhra Pradesh tried to cultivate date palms but experienced huge losses due to this insect.
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This insect takes shelter near the areas of stems and mostly stays hidden, damaging the crops from inside. You need to install wooden mesh around the stems, check the stems once in a while, and look for dark spots and openings since these are the areas where the beetle is mainly hidden. Then you find it sprayed with a 4ml mixture of Chlorpyrifos and water in equal amounts; after this, you can observe the beetle coming out of the stem and get rid of it.
Sometimes insects that feed on leaves can affect the planting yield. To prevent this, you need to use Perman drops. He can attract these insects and help the plants from leaf damage. Also, sometimes, you can observe dark spots over the leaves of date palms. His is a common disease among date palms, and you can stop this from spraying Carbendazim. If you can prevent the issues mentioned above by taking proper care while doing so, you have almost taken care of all the problems since these plants are less prone to diseases and pests.
You have to care about pollination as these plants are not self-pollinating. You have to cross the pollen of male plants with female plants to produce the fruits on trees. As these plants are small, you can pollinate these plants with ease. As Mr. Shankar took proper care while pollinating the flowers, the produced fruit bunches are more in number and high in weight. At the time of pollination, there should be no rains, and the pollination’s effectiveness depends on the amount of sunlight the plant gets.
So to produce a better yield, choose to pollinate the flowers in summers when the temperatures are more than 45 degrees centigrade. As the Nalgonda region suffices these requirements, date farming has been easy in this region, says Mr. Shankar. In his land, he started pollinating procedures between March and April. For every 20 female trees, one male tree should be planted to ease pollination. There are only three male trees on his farm, and the others are female trees.
He is also using a particular type of powder that has been imported from Gujarat. They spray this powder on the flowers while pollinating, ensuring better pollination is done. You can also prevent the birds from eating the fruits by covering the fruit bunches with red mesh. Birds dislike red color; hence these fruits are safe from birds when covered in them.
In case you miss this: Date Palm Tissue Culture -A Beginners Guide
Marketing and profit analysis of Mr. Shankar’s date farm
Mr. Shankar sells his fruits at rupees 80 per kg to a retailer. Is farm has the potential to produce 10 to 15 fruit bunches per tree, and each bunch weights nearly 6 to 7 kgs. Is farm consists of 120 date palms, which means he earns around 7,48,800 rupees per batch at the time of harvest, which is a lot. His running cost nearly 40,000 rupees for his two acres of land, which is very little compared to his income.
So his net profit is nearly rupees 6 lakh per batch, which is an excellent income for any farmer. He suggests young farmers experiment on their fields with various crops by doing a little research beforehand. He also wanted farmers who have land in high-temperature regions to cultivate such trees to see higher profits. In this way, despite all the talks people had with him about how he is making a wrong decision, he risked, and now he is a proud owner of his dates farm who can achieve high profits from cultivating dates.
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