Agri Business

Another first: Sangli farmers export dragon fruit to Dubai

Pune | Updated on June 26, 2021

Dragon fruit production commenced in India in early 1990s

Growers have been experimenting with the cultivation

Sangli farmers, known for the cultivation of sugarcane, grapes, pomegranates and turmeric, have added one more feather to their cap. After exporting grapes to the Gulf for several years, now farmers here have exported fibre and mineral-rich ‘Dragon Fruit’ to Dubai.

A consignment of dragon fruit for exports was sourced from farmers of Tadasar village in Sangli district. It was processed and packed at APEDA recognised exporter – M/s Kay Bee.

Scientifically referred to as Hylocereus undatus, dragon fruit is grown in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the US and Vietnam. In India, dragon fruit production commenced in early 1990s. It was grown in 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.

Increased cultivation

At present, dragon fruit is grown mostly in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Its cultivation requires less water and can be grown in various kinds of soils.

There are three main varieties of dragon fruit: white flesh with pink skin, red flesh with pink skin, and white flesh with yellow skin. Farmers from Sangli have been experimenting with the cultivation of dragon fruit. Some farmers transport their produce to other States. But with the opening of the export channel, Sangli farmers are elated.

The fruit contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It helps to repair the cell damage caused by oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. It also improves the digestive system and maintains blood sugar level. Since the fruit has spikes and petals resembling a lotus, it is also referred to as Kamalam.

Published on June 25, 2021

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