Farmers earn millions growing BodhichittaDurga Bahadur Shrestha, a local of Sukajoor, earned Rs2.9 million by selling half a sack of Bodhichitta fruits this year.
Local farmers have been earning millions of rupees from the fruit annually and its demand has been growing rapidly. It blooms in April and is harvested in August. A Bodhichitta garland fetches Rs100,000 to Rs150,000 in Tibet.
Bodhichitta is a holy tree according to Buddhism. Bodhi beads are threaded to make rosaries which are used to count mantras. Bodhi means enlightenment and chitta means soul in the Sanskrit language. Bodhichitta literally means soul of enlightenment.
“I did not know the importance of the fruit in the past, and used to sell a little quantity at very low prices,” Shrestha said. He used to sell the fruit for about Rs10,000. But now, his earnings have touched Rs2.9 million. “The price of this fruit started to pick up in the last four years,” he said, adding that there had been an unprecedented rise in demand for this holy fruit.
Like Shrestha, the swelling value of the fruit has benefited many people. Many traders have been visiting the area to purchase them. However, producers are unable to fulfil the requirement for this valuable product due to Ltd cultivation.
Dhan Bahadur Tamang, another farmer of Majhuwa, earned Rs3.6 million. According to him, traders have offered him Rs10 million for the fruits produced by a single tree. He had also made a handsome income last year.
Tamang said that the price was even higher in the Kathmandu valley and has planned to sell the fruits in the Capital. He has targeted sales of Rs6-7 million this year.
Hira Tamang, another farmer has planted 20 trees. In addition, he has hundreds of tress ready to bear fruit from next year. He expects to earn Rs10 million annually from next year.
Due to its growing demand, many farmers have started commercial cultivation of the Bodhichitta fruit.
According to Tamang, many of the fruits have six facets. A Bodhichitta fruit with six facets is considered valuable and costs up to Rs100,000 apiece.
Prakash Pradhan, a farmer who sells Bodhichitta saplings, said there had been a tremendous rise in demand for the plant in recent days. Pradhan has been selling 7,000-10,000 saplings annually. Each sapling costs Rs300. According to farmers, the tree bears fruits twice annually.