BHOJPUR, NOVEMBER 1 Farmers in Bhojpur district are taking up commercial kiwi farming as it yields handsome income compared to potato and maize. Kiwi is a fruit which is native to China but it was massively cultivated in New Zealand. Also known as kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry, it owes it names from the Kiwi Bird — the national symbol of New Zealand, according to Britannica. Once planted, a kiwi tree starts producing kiwis and it generally yields fruits for 30 to 40 years. Farmers in Bhojpur Municipality and Temkemaiyung Rural Municipality’s Ward 4 have begun commercial farming of this vitamin rich fruit. Suraj Rai’s family has planted over 200 samplings of kiwi replacing maize. The plants yielded double production for the first time. Lately, kiwi farming earns some Rs 500,000 to Rs 600,000 annually to the Rai family. He is expecting to double his annual income from kiwi farming in the coming years. He said, “Maize and potato farming was not fetching us handsome income. Kiwi farming has been earning us a lucrative income over the years.” He had brought the kiwi plants from Ilam district. Along with kiwi, cardamom and chilli plants could be grown in the same patch simultaneously. So, there is a higher prospect of income from commercial kiwi farming. The fruit rich in Vitamin C and K is being sold in the local market for Rs 150 to Rs 300, according to Rai. Farmers like Rai are hopeful that their produces will get bigger market as the Mid-Hill Highway construction process gets completed. Rai said his friends were also attracted towards commercial kiwi farming . Feature image: File