Centre to promote dragon fruit cultivation
- Centre has decided to promote cultivation of dragon fruit, known as “super fruit” for its health benefits.
- Considering cost effectiveness and global demand for the fruit due to its nutritional values, its cultivation can be expanded in India.
- At present, it is cultivated in 3,000 hectares; plan is to increase cultivation to 50,000 hectares in five years.
- Gujarat: recently renamed dragon fruit as kamlam [lotus] and announced incentive for farmers who cultivate it.
- Haryana: provides grant for farmers who will plant this exotic fruit variety.
- Fruit is considered good for diabetic patients
- Low in calories and
- High in nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium and zinc.
- It can be cultivated in degraded and rainfed land.
- Centre can provide specific target-based help to States and farmers under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
- Processing infrastructure can be developed with the help of Food Processing Ministry.