Water chestnut Trapa bispinosa (or paanifol in Bengali vernacular) is a perennial aquatic herb and economically important crop of lentic freshwater bodies. It is commercially cultivated for its edible fruit in shallow perennial ponds, wetlands and railway track-side water bodies. The fruit are harvested only in the post-monsoon until the beginning of winter. This article describes the farming and management of water chestnut, market chains, economic returns and role of this crop in the livelihoods of farmers in West Bengal, India.
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