Dragon Fruit Cultivation:
The Centre has decided to promote the cultivation of dragon fruit, known as a “super fruit” for its health benefits.
- The Centre plans to come up with an annual action plan to motivate more State governments.
- Mizoram tops among the States that cultivate this fruit
- The export of fruit has made a huge contribution to Vietnam’s GDP.
- It can grow in semi-arid and arid regions and can tolerate a bit of salt. All the States in India except cold areas are suitable for dragon fruit plants.
- Its flowering coincides with the monsoon season in India.
- Its flowers are hermaphrodites (male and female organs in the same flower) in nature and open at night.
- The dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is indigenous to the Americas. It is a member of the cacti family.
- It is also known as ‘Pitaya’, ‘Pitahaya’, strawberry pear, noblewoman and queen of the night throughout the world. In India, it is also known as ‘Kamalam’.
- The plant sustains yield for more than 20 years, is high in nutraceutical properties (having medicinal effects) and good for value-added processing industries.
- It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.