The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) on Thursday said that it has initiated the rejuvenation and conservation of Devanahalli Pomelo by cultivating it within the campus, under its flagship CSR Programme ”Namma Ooru”.
On the occasion of Earth Day 2020, BIAL, also owner and operator of the Kempegowda International Airport, decided to plant and nurture about 500 pomelo (Chakota) trees that will not only help conserve the rare indigenous fruit, but also contribute towards carbon reduction, it said in a statement.
With support from the Department of Horticulture, Karnataka government, BIAL procured saplings and has already planted 50 plants at a location that was once a hub for pomelos, before the construction of the Airport. It added that this location will be developed as an organic pomelo cultivation demonstration site, complete with signboards and literature for any member of the public interested in learning about the process.
At BIAL, we are committed to achieving excellence in environment sustainability. 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. This is one of our many initiatives towards achieving that goal, Hari Marar, MD and CEO of BIAL was quoted as saying. With this initiative we aim to revive, conserve and restore past glory of Devenahalli pomelo, a fruit that is associated with the region in which BLR Airport is located, he said.
The Devanahalli pomelo, which comes with a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, has a unique, sweet taste, unlike other varieties. Hectares of pomelo plantation, which once dotted Devanahalli region, have now all but vanished. Currently, there are less than 100 cultivators in the area, the statement read.
“Over the next few years, BLR Airport campus will be home to largest pomelo orchard. BIAL intends to promote cultivation of the fruit around the region and create a viable market by collaborating with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and other institutions,” BIAL said. PTI