In one of the MANN KI BAAT editions, PM Modi highlighted the advantage of growing Dragon Fruits and Chia Seeds. He has always encouraged innovative ideas especially for small businesses that empower individuals and families.
What is Dragon Fruit?
It is a fruit that grows on a climbing cactus called Hylocereus. The fruit is generally grown in tropical regions around the world. The fruit’s appearance is either Hot pink or is yellow with green spikes all around. If you cut it, the fruit has white pulp with black seeds which are edible.
Advantages of Dragon Fruit – strengthens immunity
Dragon fruit has several potential health benefits which include:
The fruit is rich in antioxidants like betacyanin, flavonoids, and phenolic acid
The fruit is a good source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which help in strengthening the immune system.
Dragon Fruit is naturally fat-free and is high in fiber.
It also helps in boosting the iron level in the human body.
Growing Dragon Fruit is Expensive but it yields huge profits- up to 10 Lakh/ton
Farmers can earn huge profits from dragon fruit cultivation, but its cultivation is a bit expensive. The cost of its seeds is high and the regular maintenance also adds to the expense. Also, there is a problem with its marketing in small cities. However, having access to big cities and supermarkets can make things easy.
The price of a single fruit in the market ranges from 100 to 300 rupees. Its cultivation on one acre of land can produce 10 tonnes of fruit annually. With which the farmers can earn 8-10 lakh rupees per ton.
How to Grow Dragon Fruit
The Seeds must be of good quality to grow dragon fruit. A grafted plant is preferable, as it takes less time to prepare. The fruit can be sown anytime from March to July. Regular cultivation and treatment are required after planting. The plant is ready in about a year and In the second year, fruits start to grow.
Although the fruit is produced in good quantity from the third year. The temperature should not be less than 10 degrees and not more than 40 degrees for the plant. It can be grown at any temperature in between. One advantage of cultivating dragon fruit is that it requires less water and can be grown in any soil.
What is Chia Seed?
Chia seeds come from a member of the mint family- the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, its seed is sold under its common name “chia” as well as other trademarked names. The seeds are a good source for minerals and fibers, it also helps in boosting immunity.
Why are Chia Seed in Demand?
The main reason for the high demand for Chia seeds is their health benefits. Chia seeds are among supermarket products that need a constant supply. Its demand is also high in big cities, especially among the youth. Chia seeds are a good source of several minerals. It includes fiber, protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B3 and potassium. It increases immunity and also makes our bones strong. The seed also helps in reducing weight.
Cultivation of Chia Seeds can earn up to 2 lakhs per acre
For farmers cultivating Chia seeds is a profitable deal. The plant needs less maintenance and growing the seed is a less expensive affair. Normal farmers can grow the plant easily and with fewer efforts. The crop is ready in three months.
There is a problem in the market in small cities as they do not have high demands for the crop. But in big cities, there is good demand in the supermarket, which makes the crop a good yield for farmers. Its cultivation per acre can earn up to 2 lakhs in a season. The price of one kilo of Chia seeds in the online market is around 1500 to 2000 rupees.