In a major boost to export of exotic fruits, a consignment of fibre and mineral rich ‘Dragon Fruit’, also referred as Kamalam, has been exported to Dubai. A consignment of Dragon Fruit for export was sourced from the farmers of Tadasar village in Sangli district of Maharashtra. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that scientifically referred to as Hylocereus Undatus, the dragon fruit is grown in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the USA and Vietnam. The fruit contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It can help in repairing the cell damage caused by oxidative stress and reduce inflammation, and also improve the digestive system. Since the fruit has spikes and petals resembling lotus, it is also referred to as ‘Kamalam’.
Dragon fruit production commenced in India in early 1990s and was grown as home gardens. Dragon Fruit has become increasingly popular in recent years in the country as it has been taken up for cultivation by farmers across various states. The Ministry said, at present, dragon fruit is grown mostly in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The cultivation requires less water and can be grown in various kinds of soils. There are three main varieties of dragon fruit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme in July 2020 on All India Radio had mentioned about the dragon fruit farming in the arid Kutch region of Gujarat. He had congratulated the farmers of Kutch for the cultivation of fruit for ensuring India’s self-sufficiency in the production.