BIAL to Revive Devanahalli Pomelo

Airport operator will conserve and promote cultivation of the world’s largest citrus fruit

BLR Airport campus will be home to largest pomelo orchard – 500 saplings be planted to contribute to carbon reduction

Will work with farmers in Devanahalli to preserve the fruit and promote cultivation

Bengaluru

Almost on the brink of extinction, the popular Devanahalli Pomelo’s (chakota) is set to receive a new lease of life. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day, Bangalore International Airport Limited – owner and operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru — has initiated the rejuvenation and conservation of the endangered fruit by cultivating it within the Airport campus under its flagship CSR Programme ‘Namma Ooru’. 

With Earth Day 2020 calling for climate action, as a responsible corporate citizen, BIAL will plant and nurture about 500 pomelo trees that will not only help conserve the rare indigenous fruit, but also contribute towards carbon reduction.   

With support from the Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka, 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. 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. 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,” said Mr. Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL.

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. 

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 will also work with farmers in and around Devanahalli to preserve the fruit and promote cultivation by empowering self-help groups and undertaking tree grafting.