Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) officials claimed that the airport premises will soon house the largest pomelo orchard in the area. In an effort to revive and conserve the ‘Devanahalli Pomelo’, an endangered citrus fruit, the operators of Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru have started a drive in the region as part of their flagship CSR Programme ‘Namma Ooru’.
“In our attempt to be a role model for sustainable progress, we have made a long-term commitment to sustainability and community engagement that will effect a change in culture. With this initiative we aim to revive, conserve and restore the past glory of Devenahalli pomelo, a fruit that is associated with the region in which BLR Airport is located,” said BIAL MD&CEO Hari Marar.
Unlike other varieties, the Devanahalli Pomelo has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag as it is known for its sweet taste. However, hectares of pomelo plantation that once dotted the Devanahalli region have now all but vanished. Currently, there are less than 100 cultivators in the area.
While 50 saplings procured from the Department of Horticulture have been planted so far, the BIAL wants to plant 450 more. Officials said they plan to develop the area as an organic pomelo cultivation demonstration site. “This will be complete with signboards and literature for any member of the public interested in learning about the process,” officials added.
According to indianexpress.com, BIAL is also planning to work with farmers in and around Devanahalli to preserve the fruit and promote cultivation by empowering self-help groups and undertaking tree grafting.