One-Region One-Product initiative flourishes as grapefruit trees thrive in Machanbaw

Grapefruit cultivated in Machanbaw township, PutaO District, Kachin State in northern Myanmar, the popular fruit with health benefits, is listed in the One-Region One-Product programme and is also one of the signature fruits in PutaO District where one can explore traditional food highlighting local delicacies, herbs, beautiful mountain ranges with scenic beauty and fascinating sights and landmarks.
There are 62.05 acres of grapefruit cultivation in Machanbaw Township. Under the guidance of the Kachin State chief minister, the Department of Agriculture is also providing grapefruit seedlings free of charge to expand sown acrage and ramp up production, intending to enhance the livelihood of the local communities.
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has flavours ranging from bittersweet to sour.  The visitors purchase grapefruits as a souvenir in PutaO on account of their proven health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease, lowering cancer risks, improving digestion and supporting growing skin.
A grower Nan Mon Htin, who ran grapefruit cultivation under the State Economic Promotion Fund allocated for Inbubaw village in Machanbaw Township delightfully elaborated that grapefruit cultivation on a trail run reaped a fruitful result. There is mixed farming with other fruits such as tangerine and American lemon. He has 3.5 acres of farms with over 300 trees.
The grapefruit trees started producing about five to six years of planting. The trees reach maturity in eight years with abundant fruits. Trimming dead branches and killing weeds every three months are required, along with fertilizer treatment.
It is harvested at the end of December and in the early January. About 10,000 fruits are produced per year. The income was estimated at K1.5 million per acre last year. The earnings are expected to hit at least K2 million this year. This business also creates jobs for local ethnic people.
With the State Economic Promotion Fund, the local farmers will expand the cultivation of American lemons. They are calling for technical assistance from the respective department to execute value-added businesses on a manageable skill. — Yaw Shwe Ni/EM

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